April 28 2020
Sunday’s Sermon: April 26 2020: Jesus Declares Us Broken
18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Mark 7:18-23 ESV
Pastor Will’s Follow Up:
Most people would commonly understand religion as a tool that helps you become a better person. It’s rules and laws and commandments that direct you in ways to ‘live your best life now’. Although that is the common understanding of religion, Jesus, in this section of Mark that we read, obliterates that idea forthright.
Religious leaders confront Jesus and ask him why he isn’t demanding the disciples follow the additional rules righteous men have put in place. Jesus says the whole concept is void and without meaning. These leaders were creating rules and laws to make themselves look good, not to bring people into a deeper relationship with God which is what Jesus desires for us. Jesus goes on to say, it’s about having a heart oriented towards God, not following rules.
However, don’t twist my words and therefore say, we never have to follow rules or commandments. Jesus says to us, if you love me you’ll obey me (found in John 14:15). But you can follow the rules because that’s what a good person does or you can follow the rules because you are responding to what Jesus has done for you. It’s a ‘heart orientation’ problem. Jesus says our hearts are problematic because from our ‘heart’ comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, etc…
The religious conversation with Jesus isn’t about creating “more law-abiding citizens” through implementing more rule. The conversation is about bringing light to the idea that on some level, we are internally broken. There is something in us that pulls us in directions of evil and crippling behaviors. Each of us has, as Romans 3 would say, fallen short of living up to God’s standard and it has affected all of us personally.
Jesus says you’re not right and the solution is not more rules and commandments. The solution is that you need to be made new. You need a new ‘heart’ because the one you have is leading you to all sorts of places you definitely don’t want to go. So how does one gain a new heart?
The Christian answer is that God provides it for you. By Jesus giving up his life freely, dying on the cross, although he was perfect and did not deserve death, pays the cost of us falling short of God’s standard. In this there is a great exchange. To use the language we have been using, we give up our broken heart (proper language: we give up our sinful nature) and Jesus gives us a new heart (He imputed to us His righteousness/perfection). In the eyes of God we are seen as made new because Jesus’ work on the cross for us!
We need a new heart and the only one who freely gives it to us is Jesus. And friends, that is not your every day religion of rules to ‘live your best life now’. That is a religion of love and grace so we are adopted into the family of God!
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.