Wednesday, March 23, 2011

No! I Won't Wash My Hands!

In the 21st century, it is common knowledge that hand washing helps prevent colds and influenza. But what will ceremonial hand washing do for you?

Jesus was approached because His disciples did not ceremonially clean their hands before eating. To the Pharisees and teachers, this was inconceivable. To them, the food was made unclean (religiously unfit to eat) because of contact with unclean hands. So where is the problem?

Mark notes these people expended so much energy upholding the traditions of the elders. They not only washed their hands, but ceremonially washed cups, pitchers, and kettles to keep traditions. They served men’s traditions, and not necessarily God’s commands.

Jesus struggled to make them re-think their actions. He called them hypocrites, and cited Isaiah as proof (Mark 7:6-7). Their actions were deafening compared to their words addressed to God. They honored men’s tradition more than God’s commands.

Jesus desires to free us from men’s philosophies and church creeds. He urges us to be people with hearts in tune with God.

How do I win this freedom struggle? First, stop immersing ourselves in men’s religious teachings (traditions). We clear out people’s clatter. Second, we refill ourselves with God’s talk. We listen to Him by reading His words (commands). This frees our heart to follow God instead of men.

Are you following men’s traditions or God’s commands? Let’s check. In your religion:
  • Who is your authority?
  • Is belief an agreement or an action?
  • How often are course corrections (repentance) needed?
  • At what point are you saved?
  • Can salvation be wrecked?

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What could you add to these considerations? Are there situations where we should do what I think instead of following God’s directions? Would you share your thoughts in the comment section?


  1. We are in a process of "being saved" my humble opinion. The process begins when that first seed of faith stirs in our hearts....and ends when we see Him face to face...and win the victor's crown. Mark 13:13, Acts 2:47

  2. Your title fooled me! I thought you were going to use the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet, where he came to Peter and wanted to wash his feet, and Peter refused....then after Jesus explained why he was washing their feet...Peter is will to wash feet, hands...whole body. Jesus replied "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you (the disciples) are clean, though not every one of you." (reference to Judas.)
    Now, I have puzzled over that passage (John 13:10.) Is he referring to baptism? Is he referring to a clean heart? and if that is the bathing...a clean heart after baptism...then what is the foot washing? Could it be those times that we fall and get dirty while attempting to walk in the light? Is it referring to the day by day cleaning that we come to Christ addition to the first cleansing by baptism for forgiveness of sins?


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