Day 8

Jesus Interprets the Law

from the Mark reading plan


Mark 7:1-37, Jeremiah 17:9-10, Hebrews 8:6-7,Hebrews 8:10

BY Andrea Lucado

Text: Mark 7:1-37, Jeremiah 17:9-10, Hebrews 8:6-7,10

The heart is glorified in our culture. We sing songs about it. We talk about following it, as if it were a wise guide. We paint it onto greeting cards in February—beautiful, pink, and symmetrical. Can you imagine what a greeting card heart would look like if it were painted after the heart we read about in Mark 7?

Maybe one side of it would be pretty and pink, but the other side? Scraggly, grey, ugly. A lopsided, scary-looking heart wouldn’t help greeting card sales, I know, but it would better match the heart Jesus talks about in this passage. He says that from our hearts come “evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, promiscuity, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22).

These evils are not caused by some outside force. They originate from within us (Mark 7:23). Nothing like being told your heart is the root of greed and evil actions to get your day going, right? But if we can sit with this truth for a little while, something very beautiful is revealed.

I remember hearing my mom compliment her friend one time on how nice she looked. Her hair was fixed. She had on a new sweater. Her make-up was perfection. She looked lovely.

“Thanks,” the friend said. “My mom always taught me that if you’re having a bad day, you can at least put on a cute outfit.”

Isn’t this our natural response? To pull ourselves together from the outside in? We scrub our exterior as much as we can, hoping to fix what’s dirty and broken on the inside. This might look like a new outfit, or volunteering at church, or making sure you’re seen with the right crowd. None of those things are inherently wrong or bad, but when we do them in an attempt to heal something that feels broken, or to earn the approval of our Father, they begin to reflect what the Pharisees were doing: fixating on the law and rituals.

Jesus had something to say about these attempts of ours: “These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. They worship Me in vain” (Mark 7:6-7). Our rituals and outward behavior will not bring us into true communion with Christ because those things are not His primary concern. He is concerned with our hearts. He sees straight through the exterior into the real—into the dark, the grey, and the ugly.

And here’s the beautiful part: Jesus chose to live right there, in our hearts, and to write the law under this new covenant. “I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Hebrews 8:10).

This is what makes the whole gospel thing such a life-changer. We don’t have to scrub ourselves clean. The blood of Christ has already done that.  

It’s all too easy for me to slide back into Pharisee mode, to put on a cute outfit and hope for the best. But Pharisee mode prevents true communion with Christ. Let’s not offer Him our perfectly-symmetrical-greeting-card hearts today. Let’s offer Him our real hearts and, in return, experience real worship.

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Post Comments (106)

106 thoughts on "Jesus Interprets the Law"

  1. Jeremae Reyes says:

    Conviction: it really is easy to fix the broken parts of ourselves by doing things that will make us feel better. I am guilty of this. I start to put make up on, I put on a cute outfit, I start having conversations with people, I go out and have a good time (with friends)…. this and that. Anything that will make me feel better about myself. But that is taking the outside and bringing it in. My heart is still broken and nothing in this world can heal it. Only Jesus. Jesus is the only one who is able to mold a broken heart into a stronger heart. Although all of those options are great things to do, they can’t fix what is broken. That is Jesus’ job and thankfully, He wants to heal our broken hearts.

  2. Maiya H says:

    I am thankful for the new covenant we have because of Jesus. He has put His laws into my mind, and has written them on my heart, and He is my God. I don’t have to travel far to be in His presence – He is here with me…always!

  3. Nikravesous says:

    There are a lot of truisms that we throw around in our society that sound good but don’t align with biblical teaching. “Follow your heart,” is one of these. Our “heart,” or emotions, can be very deceptive. If a married woman feels like she has fallen in love with another man, should she “follow her heart” and leave her husband for him? No, for as we read earlier in Mark, “what therefore God has combined let no man separate.” We are broken people with broken hearts that will lead us astray if we try to use them to guide us. The law is written in our hearts so that no one would have an excuse for her sin, but that doesn’t mean our hearts or minds will follow the law. We need the Scriptures and the Spirit to guide us. I hope this helps :)

    1. Kim Pruszynski says:

      Well put ,sister!! Thanks!

  4. Christina Gandy says:

    Hmmm. May Jesus, please set up a shop in North Dakota? More American Indians are dying. I also thought good things came from my heart. I was always told to go with my heart and not my head. I guess this is because Jesus wrote the law on my heart, but the law is supposed to be in my mind too? I don’t know about you all but my mind is crazy, and this is why I have to read bible verses and other literature every day.

    1. Megan Santi says:

      I love hearing how you are filling your mind with the Word of God. Our minds are crazy, :) but His truth is trustworthy. Our hearts are crazy, but He is transforming our hearts each day if we will allow His Lordship to reshape us. You are prayed for, and I hope that your love of Jesus will overflow and be the “shop” set up among your community. :)

  5. adek says:

    The Bible, which is my authority in matters of faith, agrees that Jesus confirmed God’s law. Jesus said,

  6. Nikravesous says:

    Hello sisters, can I ask for your prayers today? Today was the due date of my baby, who passed away in her first trimester, and my body decided to remind me again of my barrenness this morning. Thank you for your prayers

    1. Karyn says:

      Praying for you sweet sister that you would feel His love and arms holding you as you remember and grieve your dear child. Praying for the freedom to grieve unapologetically.

    2. Steph says:

      Oh sweet sister, praying God would be so very near to you, give you His peace, and help you take every thought captive. My heart aches with you, as I have been/am there myself.
      If not, He is still GOOD

      1. Nikravesous says:

        Thank you, such a good reminder. He is ALWAYS good and will bless the childless with spiritual children. Praying for you too, Steph!

    3. Rhonda Bohart says:

      Praying for you this morning. I am so sorry for your loss.

    4. Candice says:

      Praying for you, for God’s peace, in Christian name!!

      1. Candice says:

        *Christ name!

    5. Nessa B says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I too lost a baby 16 yrs ago at 24 wks pregnant I went into preterm labor and too small to survive my precious Destiny went to be with Jesus. Afterall these years the pain never truly went away and once I let the Lord work on me it was a mess emotions that I buried all came to the surface. But as God promises came to pass it my life he restored what I lost and 16 yrs later, on the day that my daughter was suppose to be born , April 14 , I had a son.
      This is one of the hardest things you will have to go through but keep your faith in the Lord. Let him comfort you. His promises will come to pass.

      1. Nikravesous says:

        Thank you for sharing your story, Nessa. It is a comfort to hear how God has worked in the lives of other women who have been here. Blessings to you and your son ❤️

  7. Lee-AH says:

    Isn’t that just like Jesus to do his work in dark, dirty, sinful locations like this earth and our hearts. And then be the light and hope that we need. He didn’t set up shop in already beautiful places, but the messy ones. Ahh, Love Him so much!

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