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Religious Fraud is not OK

Religious Fraud is not OK

Jesus spends special time with religious people. He is direct always. Are we frauds? It is a question to ask ourselves. In this situation, it was a statement not a question.

The Pharisees, along with some religion scholars who had come from Jerusalem, gathered around him. They noticed that some of his disciples weren’t being careful with ritual washings before meals. Seriously, this is all they had to think about. The Pharisees—Jews in general, during that time—would never eat a meal without going through the motions of a ritual hand-washing, with an especially vigorous scrubbing if they had just come from the market (to say nothing of the scouring they’d give jugs and pots and pans). Of course, we have our religious ceremonies now. We pray before meals, even when we eat out. We go to church. We tell people we will pray for them when they are sick or someone in their family dies.

So, on this occasion, the  religion scholars asked, “Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?” Jesus has questions for me.  Am I more concerned with saying the right thing than doing what God wants right at that minute? Is my heart not in it? Do I just pretend to worship God? Do I use Jesus? Do I ditch God’s commands? Do I only care about the latest religious trend or fad?

Jesus looks me in the eye and asks me these questions. He isn’t cruel. He just confronts me. God has a goal in mind for me. He wants me to love Him and worship Him.

May my love for God and what He wants in my life rule every day. May I fulfill His goal for my life. May I do what He wants.

Jesus has an answer, “Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull’s-eye in fact: These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it. They act like they are worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy, Ditching God’s command and taking up the latest fads.” Mark 7 (Message)