Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Will the real defilement please stand?

“Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”- Mark 7:14b-15

When Christians read this verse of scripture from St. Mark's gospel, we are apt to think, "Duh!" But we read on to find that the Apostles apparently were dumb struck by the comment. Keep in mind, they were faithful Jews who adhered to the Law of Moses which said that certain foods were unclean, so for Jesus to say that things ingested are not unclean was something foreign to their way of thinking.

This teaching had huge implications for religious practice. Slowly but surely, Jesus is revealing that he is freeing them from the enslavement to the Mosaic Code, a freedom which was completed with his death and resurrection. Jesus is revealing that it is not possible for us to climb to highest heaven to meet God through adherence to written laws. God must come to us in order for us to have communion with him. It is now revealed that what makes us unworthy or unclean is not something from outside but a misguided heart which is the source of all sin, and the truth is that the only thing that can cleanse us from this inner filthiness is God himself, who has stooped down to offer us a way to achieve holiness through his Son Jesus. However, because God is love, he will only wash us clean if we let him. He certainly will not force us because force is not love.

Now I see Psalm 51 in an entirely new light, and I rejoice that God has stooped down to me so that I can have communion with him, and in stooping down, he has released me from the chains of the law which once bound all men. He has made me clean.

Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure;
wash me, make me whiter than snow.
For you do not desire sacrifice;
a burnt offering you would not accept.
My sacrifice, God, is a broken spirit;
God, do not spurn a broken, humbled heart.
- Psalm 51: 7,16-17


At 7:42 AM, Anonymous Debbie Wanko said...

Brian...You've got it all together on the website...I enjoyed it very much and love the pictures of the church...what is your new bunny's name? Debbie (wanko)


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