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Today’s message is from Mark 7:20, “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. “ We want to learn together today that Jesus came to cleanse inside of our heart. First of all, please read from Mark 7:1 to 23. The Pharisees and teachers of the law saw some of Jesus’ disciples eating food with hands that were unwashed, they asked Jesus “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands? “ (verse 5).
They were accusing his disciples of not following the traditional ways of ceremonial washing. The Pharisees at this time was focusing more on their tradition and not so much on the teaching of the Old Testament, and following these traditions were very common in that time. They believed that those who didn’t follow the ceremonial washing were defiled, their understanding were so narrow and wrong. Jesus pointed that out to them, and he questioned them whether they were pursuing a life of outside cleanness, or a life that changes from inside.
He went on in verse 20, “What comes out of a person is what defiles them.” After this verse, he went on from verse 21-23, “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.” What do you expect Jesus to do in your life? Jesus Christ is the one who can purify our heart. Christ suffered on the cross for us, He died for us, and He is the only one who is able to forgive our sin.
When I was a high school student, I went to a church for the first time. I accepted Jesus as my savior at Summer camp when I was a junior student. At that time, I believed that forgiveness of my sin was given, and I made a decision to live my life for God. However, when I became an university student, I left the church for about 2 years and I had a selfish life forgetting about God. Through this experience, I acknowledged how sinful my heart became. Through Christian camp at senior year of university, I was able to go back to God. Ever since then, I experienced so much of His blessing and His grace. When I look back on my life, I’m really grateful that I was able to believe in Jesus Christ as my savior, and forgiveness of my sin is given to me through Him.
I have a custom to wash my hands before eating or after using the bathroom, but I don’t want to follow the ceremonial washing way (like the Pharisees). Instead of emphasizing too much on tradition, I’m simply thankful that the forgiveness of sin and the eternal life is given to me through believing Jesus’ cross. How about you? I’d like to encourage you to come to Jesus whenever you feel uncleanness of your heart or any burdens. And please pray like this, “Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross to forgive my sin. I want to accept you in my heart. “ I believe that the forgiveness and peace of Christ will be given to you.
「Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.」
Revelation 3:20 NIV