People are great at appearances. We do everything we can to make a good first impression. No matter how many times you were told growing up, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the reality is that people do all the time. We live in a world where appearance can be everything. Society tells us that the outward and external is so very important. And yet, even society can tell a fake. You’ve probably met someone before who had the outward appearance of being rich, famous, and smart, the appearance of being a “somebody”, but really wasn’t. Once you got to know them, you realized that they were a fraud.
This is the issue that Jesus is dealing with from a religious perspective in our passage. Jesus is confronted with the Pharisees and scribes who in the name of religion outwardly adorn their every action, but their hearts were hard and defiled. We’ll look at how Jesus calls us to be concerned first and foremost about the condition of our hearts.
Passage: Mark 7:1-23
Author: Rev. W. Reid Hankins, M.Div.
Sermon originally preached during the Morning Service at Trinity Presbyterian Church (OPC) on 06/29/2008 in Novato, CA.