Jesus Corrects Human Doctrine

Jesus 2

The angels had asked me to write on the Gospels every Sunday. With Love and gratitude, I surely do. This is the Gospel of Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23; with a loving message behind it.

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
—For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. —
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”

He summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.

“From within people, from their hearts,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”


The early church had been given the Torah, from God to Moses- which was the Law of God. The Law was given by God for his people, and with special instructions that no one should “add nor subtract from it (Deuteronomy 4:1-2)” as God wanted to make His people a wise nation; and that every nation would know them to be a wise nation. In addition, it was/is not for humans to change the Word that God that had/has been given to us because no human can understand the depths of God’s knowledge and understanding and His Word is Divinely Perfect in every way.

Somewhere along the way, the people of God added their own traditions, including calling something unclean if they had not properly washed their hands by touching it. The human traditions (of the law and honoring God) had increased over time and were actually only human precepts.

When the Divine Son Jesus came, the Pharisees and scribes noticed that Jesus’ disciples were doing things a little differently than what they were accustomed to, and questioned Jesus about why He was not following the traditions of the elders.

Jesus referred to the prophet Isaiah, recalling to the Pharisees and scribes the original intention of the Law: right relationship with God and other people. Jesus pointed out that they were following human tradition and were not listening to the Will of God. Jesus continues to correct them by saying that it was not dirt, or unclean hands or something external that can defile, but only something internal, such as evil from the inside of the heart, that can defile.

In truth, God wants His Word to be acted upon, and not just heard. It is the heart that must be strengthened with the Word of God; honoring, cherishing and welcoming the Word of God, which has the wellspring Word of Eternal Life. When acted upon, this not only gains Favor from God, increases Love, increases the Peace of Christ, but also helps each of us to grow in Wisdom and share as His children in His Eternal Kingdom. Jesus fulfills the Original Law with Perfect Wisdom, helping us to see that by placing God first, before all matters and loving each other as God loves us, that we too fulfill the Law in our hearts.

In Jesus Name – With assistance from the angels

Reference: Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers and Proclaimers of the Word

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