In Mark 7 Jesus is challenged by the Pharisees about ceremonial washing, He teaches on the importance of the heart, He minsters to a Gentile woman and heals her daughter, and He heals Gentile man. The rejection of Jesus by the Pharisees is immediately followed by ministry to Gentiles, thus showing that Jesus’ mission was to all peoples. The Pharisees show that they have elevated themselves and their traditions above the word of God. In fact Jesus says in verse 13 that they invalidate the word of God by their traditions. They were more concerned about appearance than they were about a changed heart. Jesus lets the crowd know that what matters is the heart. The new covenant promises a new heart for all those who trust Jesus as their Savior and Lord. This new heart desires to do what is right and has the power to do so. Lord, may I never place tradition or preference over Your Word. Help me to always make the heart the issue.
– Bryan McKenzie