Good morning, happy Tuesday and blessings.
In Mark 7:1-13, Jesus exposes the tradition of the Pharisees as including hypocritical words, producing false worship, and rejecting God’s Word. According to that, the Pharisees and scribes asked Jesus: "Why do your disciples eat with impure hands and do not follow the tradition of the elders?" "For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots." (Mark 7:3-4).
Sometimes, people judge the merits of a tradition based upon outward appearances. If it appears holy, then it must be. The Pharisees partook in a religious tradition of the washing of the hands. This was not a matter of personal hygiene but elaborate religious ritual full of deep religious symbolism. It was widely practiced among the Jews of the first century, so much so that it was thought extremely strange that Jesus and His disciples did not bother with it. The Pharisees thought Jesus was less than righteous for not keeping their traditions.
In this Gospel Jesus presents a great argument: Sin did not enter them from without, it originated within themselves. The evil in their lives had to do with the condition of their hearts and minds. But at the same time Jesus presents a great invitation to discipleship: stop hypocrisy and begin to clean up all your actions.