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May 16, 2022

The Word of God Exposing Man's Heart

Mark 7: 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes questioned Him, Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with common [unwashed] hands? 6 And He said to them, Well has Isaiah prophesied concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart stays far away from Me; 7 But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commandments of men." 8 While leaving the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men. 15 There is nothing outside of a man which entering into him can defile him, but the things coming out of a man are the things which defile a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil reasonings, fornications, thefts, murders, 22 Adulteries, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, foolishness. 23 All these wicked things proceed from within and defile the man.

Mark 7:1-23 actually covers three crucial matters: the commandment of the Lord, the word of God; the tradition of man; and the real condition of man's heart. The condition of man's heart is always exposed by the word of God, or the commandments of God. But the tradition of man always covers up the condition of man's heart. For this reason, wherever tradition is maintained there is hypocrisy. Instead of exposing the real situation of man, tradition covers it. The Lord even says that the Pharisees and scribes "nicely set aside the commandment of God" so that they could keep their tradition (v. 9). Apparently traditions are good. Actually they are subtle, and those who maintain such traditions are hypocrites. In religion today there is much hypocrisy because there is so much tradition to cover up man's real condition. But the word of God always exposes man's inward situation. In this short portion of the Gospel of Mark, the Ten Commandments are applied. The Lord Jesus is actually repeating the Ten Commandments and using them to expose man's inward condition. Whereas the Pharisees and scribes were concerned with the washing of hands, there is no mention of such washing in the Ten Commandments. What is important in the application of the Ten Commandments is not that we wash our hands, but that we come to worship God with a sincere heart, honor our parents, and faithfully carry out our duties. God's commandments do not expose the dirt on man's hands; they expose the filthiness in man's heart. (c) Living Stream Ministry.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Mark, pp. 194-195. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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Life-study of Mark