Mark Sermon Week 18 - Renewed Hearts

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Happy New Year!
Good to be back in person with you after last week’s pivot
My name is Justin on of Pastors here
Welcome you online


We are continuing in the Gospel of Mark
We are in a section where Jesus is continuing to train his disciples
and therefore to train us to be disciples.
We believe in making, maturing and multiplying disciples
I’m excited to announce that we are beginning to launch a discipling initiative here at One Hope.
Last fall we asked who would desired to be discipled
and who felt called to disciple others.
We’ve been working behind the scenes for the last few months to get some structures and training in place
We are ready to begin
So if you have a desire to be discipled or feel called to disciple others we want to help you get connected
Go on church app right now and fill out that ‘discipleship survey’
and let us know!


As we jump back into Mark let me ask you this.
How many of you like the rules?
How many of you don’t like the rules?
We need rules right?
Nothing would function without them
Think Traffic rules.
There is good intent behind the rules.
But we can take them too far right?
Rules are meant to help us live rightly
But rules, rituals and regulations can become too important and ruin the relationship
We see this in parenting right?
We can have a rule for everything and we might
but if ever the rule become more important than the relationship we’ve missed it right?
What we want in parenting is a renewed heart. A heart that trust mommy and daddy and listens to them.
So we develop this tension with rules, we don’t like them, but we need them.
This was true all the more in Jesus day.
The religious leaders, elevated the Law to the Ultimate thing
rather than seeing it as a window into the Law Giver

Jesus’s Lesson

Jesus has a very important lesson for his disciples today.
This would be a point of tension in the early church and how they understood their relationships to the Law
the Law that was supposed to bring life.
Here is Jesus point today:
Trying to live rightly without a renewed heart is deadly.
You cannot live rightly without a renewed heart.


We’ll be in Mark 7:1-30 today
encourage you to go there in your Bibles
Let’s Pray


Luke 4:18–19 (ESV)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

The Heart of the Law

Mark 7:1–5 (CSB)
1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him. 2 They observed that some of his disciples were eating bread with unclean—that is, unwashed—hands.
3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, keeping the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they have washed. And there are many other customs they have received and keep, like the washing of cups, pitchers, kettles, and dining couches.)
5 So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders, instead of eating bread with ceremonially unclean hands?”
They are probably coming to discredit Jesus, as has already been indicated in Mark
Mark 3:6 CSB
6 Immediately the Pharisees went out and started plotting with the Herodians against him, how they might kill him.
Mark 3:22 CSB
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and, “He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons.”
They are not friends of Jesus
not here to cheer him on
but to catch him and discredit him.

Jesus Indictment

So Jesus responds to them.
He goes to the Word of God — good move
Mark 7:6–8 (CSB)
6 He answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines human commands. (Isaiah 29:13)
8 Abandoning the command of God, you hold on to human tradition.”
Matthew’s Version is a bit harsher, there Jesus simply says
Matthew 15:3 CSB
3 He answered them, “Why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition?
Jesus says you guys have exchanged the Traditions of Men for the Commandments of God
in so doing you have produced a dead religion
you cannot live rightly without a renewed heart

Example 1: Cleansing Hands

The disciples are not breaking the Mosaic law but rather later Jewish traditions that prescribed ritual washing of hands, utensils, and furniture
The Mosaic Law only stipulated that the Priests had to wash his hands and become ceremonially clean
Exodus 30:19 CSB
19 Aaron and his sons must wash their hands and feet from the basin.
Later tradition (not the Bible) stipulated that all Jews should do this.
And so Good Jews did the ritual washing.
Being Clean / as opposed to Defilement
was a major point in OT religious
Many ceremonial laws in regards to being clean and unclean.
the disregard of purity is serious because it was assumed that uncleanness belongs to the realm of death and demons and breaks fellowship with God. To disregard such concerns means that Jesus redefines what it is that inhibits fellowship with God

The Law is Good

It was good to be clean, but when being clean is elevated above the relationship with the one who makes you clean
then you’ve lost the heart of the law
and it merely becomes about keeping the rules for the sake of self rather than the sake of God.
They lost the WHY

How you know you’ve lost the Why

Now, the truth is we all do this.
You know how you know?
you have a disproportionate reaction to something.
This is how you know you are attempting to live rightly without a renewed heart.
The feelings about this issue could be strong. As one rabbi expressed it according to a later tradition in
b. Sota 4b, “Whoever eats bread without previously washing the hands is as though he had intercourse with a harlot.’ ”
Talmud (A collection of rabbinic Jewish texts that record the oral tradition of the early rabbis.)
For you:
What is the one thing that if someone does it you lose your marbles
You become enraged
Pet peeves
Something has been elevated too far
and it becomes really hard to love someone

Motivation for Rules

How does this happen?
When you peel back the layers, it usually has to do with
trying to maintain control or power over something or someone.
They were not the power brokers in Jewish society, as many imagine, but were struggling to impose their vision of morality and obedience to the law on Israel.
Maintaining purity was a key item in their agenda. The disagreement over washing hands had nothing to do with hygiene but was a matter of purity
To them, Jesus was religiously incorrect, and his cavalier attitude toward such things threatened their vision of a smoothly running, holy community
His immense popularity also threatened to reduce their sphere of influence since he called into question the authority and validity of their traditions.

Example 2: Corban

But Jesus isn’t done
It’s really important for him to make this point.
It’s not just one thing, but their whole interpretation of the law
Mark 7:9–13 (CSB)
9 He also said to them, “You have a fine way of invalidating God’s command in order to set up your tradition!
10 For Moses said: Honor your father and your mother; and Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.
11 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or mother: Whatever benefit you might have received from me is corban’ ” (that is, an offering devoted to God), 12 “you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother.
13 You nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other similar things.”
Corban literally mans “set aside for God, or devoted to God”
So you could set aside a sum of money for example, to be devoted to God and once that vow was made it could not be broken.
Jesus says God’s command is to honor your parents is more important that the tradition of corban
This would be like you setting aside a large sum of money as an offering for the church, but your parents come into need and since you have already ‘vowed’ this money for church you refuse to help them in their need.

How you know you’ve lost the WHY:

The second way you are attempting to live rightly without a renewed heart:
You keep holding onto something even when it is obviously wrong
The invalidated the Word of God so they could hold onto, literally ‘to cause to continue’ their traditions.

Church Wars

We do this too in the church right?
We hold up our tradition over and above God’s Command.
For example:
Jesus commanded us to love one another. (John 13:34-35)
He didn’t tell us to agree on every secondary theological matter
such as:
mode of baptism
meaning of baptism
views of predestination
views of spiritual gifts
So how many of us have looked down upon, shunned, or treated unkindly those of a different theological persuasion?
Calvinists have perhaps been most guilty of this.
out of a good intention, doctrinal purity,
I’m not talking about core doctrines like:
deity of Christ
His death for our sin
resurrection for new life.
Blood has been shed, Wars have been fought over these lesser secondary issues
Where do we do the same?
Jesus said, love one another
His last prayer was for Unity in the church.
I want us to be a kind of church that builds unity and loves well.
Keep the main thing the main thing
centered on the gospel — the person and work of Jesus

Cultural Wars

This isn’t just a religious problem, it’s a human heart problem.
Whether you are democrat or republican?
Evolution vs. Creation
Secular or religious?
Capitalist or Socialist
Black or White
So what’s the problem?
Rules aren’t bad
Traditions aren’t evil

The Problem of the Heart

Jesus already has said it:
Quoting Isaiah 29:13.
Mark 7:6–7 (CSB)
6 He answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines human commands.
Their heart is far from God
They are trying to live rightly without a renewed heart and it produces death
a dead religion.
This is so important to Jesus that he turns and addresses the crowds right then and there.
and then further to his disciples.

To the Crowds

Mark 7:14–15 (CSB)
14 Summoning the crowd again, he told them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”
As we’ve been seeing, the disciples don’t quite get it.
and it speaks to the magnitude of this issue in their day
The early church would continue to struggle with what to do with the OT LAW
and it reveals the hardness of their hearts
as we saw last week.
We are far worse off than we ever thought.
The Longer I have walked with Jesus i have seen that I’m far worse off than i’d ever thought

To the Disciples

Mark 7:17 (CSB)
17 When he went into the house away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about the parable.
They don’t understand the magnitude of what Jesus is saying.
But Jesus disciples them, because this is a really important lesson.
one that they will need to learn again and again
Just like you and I.
Mark 7:18–23 (CSB)
18 He said to them, “Are you also as lacking in understanding? Don’t you realize that nothing going into a person from the outside can defile him?
19 For it doesn’t go into his heart but into the stomach and is eliminated” (thus he declared all foods clean). 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.
21 For from within, out of people’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, 22 adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a person.”
Jesus now makes explicit what was implicit
the problem is our hearts
the center of who we are
from the heart comes all kinds of evil
Do you see yourself in that list?

The Heart

Biblically the heart is the center of who you are.
Proverbs 4:23 (CSB)
23 Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.
Proverbs 27:19 (CSB)
19 As water reflects the face, so the heart reflects the person.
The center of who we are
In the heart dwell feelings and emotions, desires and passions.
The heart is the seat of understanding, the source of thought and reflection.
The heart is the seat of the will, the source of resolves.
Jesus is saying that the problem goes to the deepest part of who you are.


and it’s not something that understanding can fix
or human will
or more sophisticated systems and rules
Nothing short of a complete death and resurrection would be required
We would need to be born again
made anew

The Religious Leaders

This is what the Religious Leaders could not see.
They got fixated on the Law rather than the Give of the Law
The were fixated on the window rather than who was on the other side of it
they couldn’t see that their death and resurrection was staring them in the face
John 5:39–40 (CSB)
39 You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, and yet they testify about me. 40 But you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.
We can even do this with our Bible Knowledge.

Renewed by Faith

So how do we get new hearts? how do you get born again? Made anew.
By Faith
By trusting in Jesus.
Trusting that on the Cross Jesus became what Mark listed
evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, 22 adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, self-indulgence, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
Do you see yourself in that list?
Christ died for you
He died for Sin
He became Sin
so that we might die with him in his crucifixion and rise with him in his resurrection (Rom 6:4)
that we might be made new
given a new heart.
so that we could live rightly from a renewed heart
a heart that loves Jesus.
because Jesus himself fulfilled all the requirements of the Law in our place.
Titus 3:4–8 (CSB)
4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, 5 he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
6 He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life. 8 This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone.
And it doesn’t matter what you’ve done
how many times you have messed up
You cannot out sin God’s Grace

Anyone can be saved

Mark doesn’t something really cool in how he writes his gospel.
if this section was meant to point to the fact that all foods are clean (Mark 7:11b)
then the next story shows us that all people can be clean.
Mark 7:24–30 (CSB)
24 He got up and departed from there to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it, but he could not escape notice.
25 Instead, immediately after hearing about him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit came and fell at his feet.
26 The woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she was asking him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, because it isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28
But she replied to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29 Then he told her, “Because of this reply, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.” 30 When she went back to her home, she found her child lying on the bed, and the demon was gone.
Matthew 15:28 (CSB)
28 Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was healed.
Gentiles were unclean!
Jesus hints at God’s Worldwide Plan of Redemption
This Disciples had seen Jesus feed thousands with bread
and still struggled to get the lesson
This woman needs only a crumb of bread b/c she has faith in Jesus
She didn’t need the faith of thousands of loaves, only a crumb.


So have you been trying to live rightly without a renewed heart?
Faith renews our hearts
Trusting in Jesus renews our strength
Let’s ask God to speak to us now.
Where do we need to come to Jesus as the Gentile Woman did and trust that Jesus can do it?
Where do we need to persist in prayer?
Where do we need to confess that other things have become more important that people or God?
Let’s give those things to Jesus
Confess them and see them as crucified with Him
And ask the Holy Spirit to come now and renew us
renew our hearts
renew our faith
so that we can live rightly from a renewed and redeemed heart.

Closing Prayer

How often i fail at this.
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