This morning at St. Paul’s Presbyterian, Rev. Mike Malone continued his series on Mark 7. Today he suggested that we look at Fallujah as a metaphor for our internal conflicts. We shift our attention to our own lives and realize that we are always inclined to inflict pain on others. Just as the internal conflicts in Fallujah, we have our internal conflicts as well.
The question asked is, “Does change come from the outside in or inside out?” According to Mike Malone the gospel of Mark chapter 7 serves as a mirror to our lives. In verses 1-8 it starts at the surface of hypocrisy. It exposes the Distortion of the Law. The Pharisees sought moral reform in the nation. They wanted to apply the law. They sought to emulate the practices of the holy men in the Old Covenant. At first it began as a noble goal, but soon they began to abuse the law of God by redefining the law by imposing their own interpretation. Their purpose was to use their “version” of the law to exalt their lifestyle and further exalt themselves.
In verses 9-13, there is a Disregard for the Law leading to disobedience. The Scribes and Pharisees betrayed the commands of God for their own tradition. Finally, in verses 14-23 there is a Depth of the Corruption of their own hearts. The application of this penetrating text is that the defilement is in the heart; it is internal. It is what comes out that defiles the heart.
There are at least 2 measures to be taken in this text that directly applies. First, we must stare at Mark 7 right in the face. We must face the truth about our needs. We are desperate beings who are constantly in need of grace and mercy. Our hearts are troubled. Secondly, we must recognize that only Jesus can heal us. We are told to seek Jesus as the only One who can deal with our sins. We heal this virus by relentless confession and consistent trust in Christ.