by Pastor John
There is a deep longing in the human heart, a yearning to be clean. The Pharisees thought that eating according to spiritual regulations would make them clean. But, as Tim Keller suggests, this is an outside-in approach, rather than an inside-out approach.
Keller also points out that we all live our lives with an outside-in approach to being clean. We work on our physical appearance, thinking that this will deal with our sense of insignificance. We focus on political systems and laws to fix humanity. We even look at the external practices of Christianity hoping it will cover over the decrepit nature of our hearts.
Jesus is saying that, while these approaches do bring change, they do not change the human heart. Out of the human heart comes all sorts of twisted things, and nothing can clean it but Christ himself.
And that is exactly what Mark is showing us. In vs. 19, Mark tells us that Jesus declared all foods clean. Mark doesn't say, "Jesus said those rules are archaic, so ignore them".
Mark is telling us that there is a new, much deep way to be cleansed. It is through the blood of Jesus.
No longer are we kept out of the presence of God by the presence of sin in our hearts. Through Jesus' death on the cross, we are forgiven and cleansed. Through Jesus' resurrection, new life comes into us so that our motivations and affections change. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, our heart is made new.
This is an inside out approach.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you that you have given me a new heart, that I have been cleansed through your blood, and that I am now acceptable to God. Please help me to live my life out of that reality, not striving to be "clean" through any other way besides You.