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February 16, 2020 – The Sixth Sunday After Epiphany – Inside Out

Mark 7:1-23 What defiles one comes from within

          There’s a lot going on here, and we need to be careful not to make this about all the ways that the Jews are unfaithful. As so often happens, people in the crowd are looking to defame the followers of Christ, and therefore Christ. They want to know why the disciples don’t wash their hands before eating. And Jesus wants to know then why they don’t actually honor the law of Moses, but why they have developed loopholes and ways around the rules that they are supposed to follow. (Isn’t it nice we don’t look for loopholes any more?)

                    Jesus then tell them and us that it’s not about what goes in that defiles, it’s about what comes out. Jesus argues that what goes in to us doesn’t go into our heart, but into our stomach, and then out the other end. It is from within that the things that defile come. There’s a list of things, from obvious to insidious, that defile. How is it we understand where evil comes from? Does the devil make us do it, or does it come from inside of us? Is it what we get one our hands that defiles, or what comes out of our hearts?