Inside and Outside (Mark 7:1-23)
Topic: Sermons Passage: Mark 7:1–7:23
How many of you have seen the recent movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood starring Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys? The main character, Lloyd, is an Esquire magazine writer assigned to interview Mr. Rogers. When they first meet, Lloyd has a black eye, which Mr. Rogers asks him about. He tells him that it was a softball injury – “I made the play at the plate.” But it wasn’t a softball injury, it was sustained when he got in a fight with his dad, whom he harbors a lot of resentment towards. I don’t want to spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it, and I would definitely recommend it, but let’s just say that Mr. Rogers helps Lloyd by looking past his external wound to his internal wound.
Sometimes we focus so much on the outside when the real issues are inside. The Bible says that man looks on the outside while God looks on the heart. And this Sunday's passage (Mark 7:1-23) sees Jesus interacting with the Pharisees, who have complained about how the disciples don't do things the right way (externally). And Jesus changes the focus to the internal matters of the heart, and explains matters of hypocrisy and defilement. It's a deep, sometimes perplexing passage that has a lot to teach us. I'm looking forward to working through it together, -Dave