Avoiding Contamination (Mark 7:1–23)

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Touch the keypad on the gas pump. Hold onto a rail going down stairs. Turn a doorknob. These simple everyday tasks now are accompanied with dread. Could I be contaminated?

We are afraid of our own human biology. Lysol and liquid soap are indispensable to cleanse and keep healthy.  We are cautious about what touches us.

In Mark 7, Jesus addresses a group people who were preoccupied with washing their hands and cups but ignored washing their spiritual lives. Quoting the prophet Isaiah, he says

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ (Mk 7:6–7, Isa 29:13).

While we worry about this current pandemic which threatens to kill millions, we take for granted a pandemic that already exists killing millions upon tens of millions every year.

The whole human race is infected with the disease of sin. The effects of this disease are real and costly. Sin is destructive and deadly ruining lives and killing people in its wake, but we live with it. Humanity makes all kinds of rules with the illusion that we can manage sin.

We see the effects of sin in poverty and famine, war and street violence, in disease and pandemics, in crime and corruption, in broken families and mentally ill people, and in unbelief and despair. Hardly an affliction in this life exists that cannot be said to be the result of sin contamination. Sadly, this contamination has affected every human being. We are all infected and polluted with sin. Jesus addresses each of directly about our infection.

Jesus went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them.  For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mk 7:20–23)

While we deal with this COVID-19 infection, I pray we will recognize this greater infection. The amazing good news is that Jesus took on our infection. He came to embody our sin who had never known sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). He bore in his body our affliction, took on the curse of this infection so we could be cured of sin (Isaiah 53:4-7). For this we give God all the praise and honor. As Christ has conquered sin, death and the devil he gives us new life.

Beloved, you have been uncontaminated!  While we deal with the biological disease, let us rest assured and draw hope from Christ who has delivered us from our spiritual disease.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)

As we know Christ has conquered let us lift up our prayers in hope that God will deliver us from this global affliction.

 

“LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.” ~ Isaiah 33:2

Pastor Douglas

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