So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.” Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’ Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart. ” (Mark 7:5-7, 14, 15 NLT)
As people we often look at someone and make our own judgements. We think we know people by the way they dress, where they work, how their hair looks, whatever. This is how we determine the worthiness of people, and it’s how people do the same to us.
The truth is, we can never please everyone. There’s always something which will make people think less of us. Something we say, or we forget, or maybe even what we eat (or don’t eat).
But Jesus reminds us it’s not about these things. It’s not about how we are on the outside or our ability to follow rules created by other people. It’s about our character as children of God. It’s about whether our lives try to reflect the grace and love of God we have received.
It’s about our hearts.