Jesus’ Approach to the Law

Text: Mark 7:1-23

Reflection and Question: Jesus makes two crucial distinctions in this encounter with a group of devout Pharisees. First, He exclaims, “How well you set aside the commandment of God in order to maintain your tradition!” Many in the church continue to fail in love by holding fast to tradition. Second, Jesus distinguishes between what goes into a person and what comes out. He emphasizes that the traditional purity laws, like those that say which food is clean or unclean, are less important than how we treat each other. What aspects of our lives are illumined by Jesus’ teaching here?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, You are our constant companion and teacher now. Bring these distinctions of Jesus to life for us so that Your commands put tradition in perspective and we assess others by the good that comes from what they do. Amen.

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).