Includes Sermon Audio
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 6- 9
James 1: 17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-23
“Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
Collect of the day
Cleanse our consciences, Lord, and enlighten our hearts through the daily presence of your son, Jesus Christ, that when he comes in glory to be our judge we may be found undefiled and acceptable in his sight; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
A thought to ponder upon – Mark 7:1-8, 14-23
Scribes are sent from Jerusalem to investigate the situation brought about by Jesus popularity. In chapter 2, verses 15-28 and chapter 3 verses 6, and 20-30 as well as here, it is evident that many Pharisees and scribes merely intend to convict Jesus of breaking the written law of Moses (i.e. aspects of the ceremonial law in Exodus 30:19; 40:12) as interpreted by the later traditions of the Elders and thus to discredit his authority with the people, “each with defiled hands”. The disciples are not breaking the motor a claw, but rather later Jewish traditions that prescribed ritual washing hands, utensils, and furniture (open). See Mark 7:2-4). By his example. Jesus implies that his disciples can ignore these traditions.
The Pharisees are hypocrites, for 2 reasons:
1). Their actions are merely external and do not come from their hearts which are far from God.
2). Their teachings are not from God, but reflect the tradition of men.
The problem of the defiled human heart is much deeper than one might assume (see Isaiah 29:13-16; Jeremiah 17:9-10) and significantly more serious than mere ceremonial impurity (see Mark 7:19b). The core problem of defilement is what resides in the heart, things that come out not things going into a person. Throughout Scripture the heart refers to the centre of one’s being, including the mind, emotions, and will.
The Reverend Josie Steytler preaches from Mark 7 after the gospel reading.
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