A Short Study of Mark 7:1-2

“Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.”
(Mark 7:1-2)

The Lord Jesus Christ, God in flesh, walked among men and they had every opportunity to behold Him in His glorious perfections and to hear His gracious words. Mark records the attitude and observations of the Pharisees when they saw Christ and His disciples. “…they found fault.” (Mark 7:2) Did they hear the gospel that He taught or notice His sinless perfection and mighty power? No, they noticed that His disciples ate with unwashed hands! They did not say, “What good news for sinners such as we are.” They did not say, “Tell us more about who you are and why you’ve come.” No, the scriptures say that they “found fault.” It is not hard to find fault with other sinners. We are all full of faults, full of sin and corruption. When God’s standard is applied, we are all found coming short of the glory of God. But these self-righteous religious hypocrites applied their man-made standard. They scrutinized the followers of Christ by their own traditions and in their blindness missed the Lord of glory and His wondrous salvation. Christ said, “It’s not what goes into a man that defiles him but what comes out!” It is not a matter of clean hands but a clean heart. It is not a matter of externals in the flesh but of the spirit! Their comment and complaint was over the disciples not washing their hands before they ate and the blind leaders considered the followers of Christ as unclean and defiled. Christ charged them with teaching the doctrines of men as the commandments of God! Oh, but thank God, we shall not be judged, we shall not be rejected or accepted by God and we shall not be unclean in His sight on the basis of whether or not we’ve washed our hands! What utter foolishness! They did not see or understand or enter in to the great issues between God and men. And sadly, it has not changed much today. The issues of religious people in our day are matters of dress, drink, and personal liberty. But the all important issue remains, “What think ye of Christ?” Do you know Him? Have you heard His gospel? Are you trusting His precious blood to put away your sin and His perfect righteousness as all your standing before God? Will you debate issues like unwashed hands while your hurry out into eternity to meet God in His holiness and justice? Unwashed hands, when your filth and defilement is of the heart? This proves you know nothing of God or yourself! You worry about how men conform to your traditions and rules when you are condemned before God? It’s like Nero fiddling while Rome burns! There is no fault in the Perfect Christ!

G. Shepard

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