What is the Heart of the Matter, part 2

Last time in What is the Heart of the matter, part 1, we saw that Jesus nailed the Pharisees for being hypocrites.  (Matthew 15:1-9 and Mark 7:1-13). Jesus said, “rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: This People honors Me with their lips But their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”   Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men. Do we do that as Christians?  Are we like the Pharisees too? I’ve been thinking about this for a few years, and really had to examine things in my life to see how I have been just like the Pharisees. Let’s look at the area of dressing up to go to church.  Now, my family has always worn dresses to church… well, just the girls, the men of the family wore suits...

The Heart of the Matter is the Heart, part 1

  Words. Again? I know I have been writing about our words for several posts now.  The Bible seems to talk about our words a lot.  And I struggle with my words;  I need to hear what Jesus says about words. I think the Pharisees and Scribes loved words; maybe they liked to hear themselves talk. Read Matthew 15: 1-9 and Mark 7:1-13. Jesus is in Gennesaret, which is a lake in Galilee about 80 miles north of Jerusalem.  If you look at the previous chapter (Matthew 14) in verses 35-36, you will see that faith is high here.  People recognized Jesus, brought their sick, and asked that they “might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.” (36) Wow! Here come the Pharisees and scribes—all the way from Jerusalem.  They...