Fix the Right Problems

Mark 7:1-23

1The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.[a])

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’[b]

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[d] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[e] 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16] [f]

17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”


  1. Clean vs Defiled


  1. Being unclean is a transferrable problem


Common, profane, defiled, unholy.

Clean, Holy in OT


Cleanliness denotes ability to participate, no longer separated from worship and the presence of God. To be unclean is to be lost to a relationship with God, and therefore His blessing of being His people, His focus, a part of His kingdom.

Holiness is set aside for a particular purpose. All things holy must first be clean. Cleanliness is a much broader topic.


Uncleanness is transferrable.

Cross contamination

Dirty hands

Dirty minds

Dirty desires


Outside in? Or inside out? Which is the real problem? You can      make the desire stronger!


Sin of Adam transferred to all people. This is really a problem, because the uncleanliness is already on everyone.


The sins of the fathers are passed down to the children.



  1. The Pharisaic accusation

This is important because the Pharisees are accusing Jesus of not caring whether or not the Apostles are clean before God or not.

The Pharisees are accusing Jesus of transferring uncleanness!


The standard for what makes something clean. God’s Word defines the things that make someone clean or not. In this case, the washing of hands before eating is not a part of the Law. But Jesus is going to go beyond all outward issues of cleanliness. He is going to state that all of the food regulations are no longer at issue.

In reality, He is going to resolve all cleanliness issues that people have.



  1. Where does the dirt come from?

James 1: 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

I Corinthians 10: 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Outside in? Or inside out? Which is the real problem? You can make the desire stronger!

Things eaten go into the stomach and then out of the body

It is literally impossible for what you eat to defile your relationship with God, unless it is associated with greed or manipulation of attitude. There has to be a secondary issue that the food touches. Is the taking of the food associated with an attitude that is sinful? Abandonment of responsibility, unbelief, greed for pleasure. Social status.


Genesis 4: God’s warning to Cain

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”


John 8:

 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.


  1. How Does Jesus Make us Clean?

John 1: 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

  1. Jesus buys our forgiveness

        He solves the problem of the penalty of our sins.

The wages of sin is death. Jesus has died to pay the wages for     our sin.

Romans 3:

20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Ephesians 2:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.


  1. Jesus gives Righteousness and Resurrection

        Not only are out debts paid, we are given the credit of Jesus’         righteousness.

II Corinthians 5:

19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not       counting people’s sins against them.

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him   we might become the righteousness of God.

Romans 5:

19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Hebrews 9:

14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God!

Old Covenant Law keeping: We must live by these laws in order to be right with God. There is a regular reminder that we cannot obey them, because we offer sacrifices for sins every year! Just say to yourself: “I am not going to complain. I am not going to say anything negative about another person.” See how far you get. I demonstrate these sins at times from the pulpit! How can I ever be set free from the body of this sin? (Romans 7)

Jeremiah 31:

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 10:

12 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. 14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:

16 “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.”

17 Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.”

18 And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.


John 14:1-6

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus the Way to the Father

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 8:

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.


  1. Jesus teaches us how to live


  1. Man lives by the Word of God more than physical satisfaction.

        Lust of the flesh resolved through fasting and physical disciplines of abstinence.


  1. Worship and serve only God. Not money or the approval of people.

        Lust of the eyes. Solved by being a giver. Give thanks, give time, resources and energy. Give honor to others.


  1. Trust God and wait on Him. Do not make your own way! Do not act like you can force God to act.

        Be a servant, first of all to God. Try and out serve God! Let this humility drive you to patience.