Read Mark 6
Like the disciples, we're all on a mission (Mark 6:7-13). Follow Jesus as He feeds the multitudes, walks on water, teaches inner holiness (6:30-7:23; Heb. 12:14). Even the crumbs of faith are rewarded (7:25-30).
The Pharisees insisted the Law be observed as the scribes interpreted it; they believed in the Old Testament Scriptures, but they followed the tradition of the elders more than the Scriptures (Mark 7:3). They believed that Jesus' disciples were defiled because they did not ceremonially wash before eating as prescribed by former scribes in the tradition of the elders. It should have been a wake-up call to hear Jesus say: Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites . . .. This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. . . . teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. . . . Making the Word of God of none effect through . . . tradition (7:6-7,13).
Later, Jesus explained to His disciples: Whatsoever thing from without (outside) entereth into the man, it cannot defile him. . . . For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness (sensuality), an evil eye, blasphemy (slander), pride, foolishness: All these evil things . . . defile the man (Mark 7:18, 21-23).
Satan often suggests evil thoughts, but they only become sin when we accept them and dwell upon them. We are deceived if we assume there is no harm in dwelling upon sinful thoughts as long as they are never verbalized or physically carried out. The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to write: The carnal (worldly) mind is enmity (hostile) against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God (Rom. 8:7).
Christians have the responsibility, and the ability, because of the indwelling Holy Spirit, to be overcomers of sinful thoughts: Casting down imaginations, and every high (proud) thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Cor. 10:4-5). A commitment to read through the Word of God with a desire to please the Lord will produce inward changes in attitudes that will affect our outward conduct, witness and ministry in all that we say and do. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16).
Thought for Today:
Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God (Ps. 146:5).
6:25 charger large dish ; 7:19 purging all meats declaring all food ceremonially clean.
For Mark 7:6-7: See Is. 29:13. Mark 7:10: See Ex. 20:12; 21:17; Lev. 20:9; Deut. 5:16.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite • Government Official: Rep. Rush Holt (NJ) • Country: Djibouti (447,000) in eastern Africa • Major languages: French and Arabic • Limited religious freedom • 91% Muslim; 7% Roman Catholic; .75% Eastern Orthodox; about 300 Protestants • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice in the Lord, for He is forgiving to those who call upon Him (Ps. 86:4-5).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33