By Amber Long
So is it just me or does this all sound waaaayyyyy too familiar? The Pharisees were out to catch Jesus and The Disciples. If you read this chapter from the start, you can see the Disciples ate without washing their hands. Shock horror! They are clearly breaking the most sacred of laws and eating before they had been through a ceremonious hand-washing. This involved the washing of the person and plates and vessels to be used in the meal. I don’t know much about these ceremonies but I can imagine the Pharisees had them down to a fine art. I’m sure they were long, drawn-out, painful processes designed to make them look extra holy. And for the Pharisees that’s all that counted. What it looked like.
This seems all too familiar for me. I wish I could say that this was a situation unique to the time of the Pharisees. Its not. People are very good at putting other people down to make themselves look and feel better. We have all been in the firing line of some nasty comment, a snide remark, a cutting raise of the eyebrow, a blatant ignore. These things can be even more prolific in the church. We can be very quick to judge each other. Its too easy to put on our Sunday mask of “Good is great, brother! Lovely to see you Sister”. We are an odd group of people that are together in unique setting – our faith. But that’s also what unites us. Our faith. Our common ground. When we look at our CNLC values, we have authenticity at the very start. If we make the deliberate choice to be authentic in our faith, our faults will become blindingly obvious. But so will our support crew. We will be in the best of company – a God who can enable us to become a whole person and a family who can help us along our way.
God isn’t interested in what we look like or how we compare to the people around us. He is interested in our hearts. Look again at verse 21 - For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come
Let’s take our eyes of each other’s faults, look inside at our own faults and look to God who can fix our faults.