Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.” Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23, NRSV)
Have you ever done something because you knew someone else would be watching and you wanted to make sure they saw what you did?
We do things all the time so others will see us. We want others to see that we do good things, so they think we are good people.
It is like giving lip service. Lip service is where we say good things about people or do things for them in front of them, but then behind their backs we do all sorts of mean and nasty things, or say what we really think about them which is far from being nice.
Which is what Jesus says about the pharisees here. They give lip service to God, as if we can ever go behind God’s back!
But they say things and do things in public so that people will see them and think they are following God, when their hearts are only looking for the notoriety, or the lifting up of being such a good follower. Their hearts are far from God.
And how many of us are there?
Why do you come to worship?
Why do you put money in the offering?
Why do we do the things we do for God?
Is it because we love Him and are moved by Him, or this is the right thing to do to impress the right people?
Only you can answer these questions for yourselves, but know that God knows your motives.
Jesus said give so your left hand doesn’t know what your right hand is doing. Because it is about loving an awesome God and being led to do His will, not for our own gain, but so that His kingdom is built.
So don’t do anything because it will be seen by others and you will get the glory. Do all things so that God is given the glory!