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Dirty disciples

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These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules made by men (Mark 7:6b,7).

The post Dirty disciples appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

by Pastor Mark Lieschke

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These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules made by men (Mark 7:6b,7).

Read Mark 7:1–8,14,15,21–23

According to the Pharisees and some teachers of the law, Jesus’ disciples failed to conduct a ritual washing of their hands before eating. The disciples were dirty because they didn’t perform the tradition of the elders. Jesus’ response to them highlighted what it really meant to be clean. He wasn’t concerned about ceremonial washing but something far more important.

Jesus said that what needed attention was the real dirt deep down in us – the dirt on our hearts. Our brokenness, sin and rebellion against God is the real problem – and not whether we follow all the rules, traditions, and rituals handed down to us (as helpful and positive as they might be).

The holy and pure Lord Jesus comes to us and makes us clean. He comes to forgive, restore, renew and transform us into people who can reflect his love and grace – instead of just giving us rules to guide us.

And when this happens, we may find ourselves getting down and dirty and even liking it. We are enabled to look past our expectations of others, we can look above and beyond our regulations, policies and procedures, and we are challenged to become grubby in our service to others.

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Dirty disciples roll up their sleeves and care for this world and the least of God’s children. They don’t worry about looks and appearances. Instead, they look into the eyes and hearts of their neighbours. Dirty disciples see God’s face in those around them rather than their imperfections, weaknesses and failures.

As cleansed, purified, justified and forgiven people, we can now serve those around us who need the love, grace and acceptance of Jesus.

Our hearts are clean because of Jesus. Others can now experience his mercy and endless love through us.

Lord God, your Son humbled himself in obedience to your will and gave up his life for us. Transform and renew us within. Help us not to be conformed to this world but dedicate ourselves to you and do what pleases you. We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.


The post Dirty disciples appeared first on Lutheran Church of Australia.

Source: Lutheran Church of Australia https://www.lca.org.au/dirty-disciples/

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