Episode 193: Dirty Hands, Clean Hearts
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the traditions of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ (Mark 7: 5-7)
Let’s dispel the myth that cleanliness is next to Godliness. One day the Pharisees saw His disciples eating without washing their hands and they confronted Jesus about it. Their question revealed their faulty logic, “Why don’t your disciples follow the tradition of the elders…? They weren’t concerned about eating with dirty hands. They were concerned about following the traditions. We know that there are health benefits to washing our hands but that wasn’t the motive of the Pharisees. They weren’t washing off the dirt, they were trying to wash off the contact they had with people and things that they deemed unclean. The fact remains that, in order to do ministry and reach those that are far from God, you have to go where they are. We’ve been on mission trips to places like Belle Glade Florida, doing ministry and on mission to reach their community. Belle Glade is an impoverished community of Haitian refugees and local farmers. The work was dirty and tiring but our hearts were bonded with the people we were working with and for. We can wash our hands and shower to remove the blood sweat and tears but the mark these people have left on our hearts is permanently bonded. That kind of mark can’t be washed off. When you see people the way Jesus sees them, the heartbreak you feel for them becomes the fuel that drives your passion to reach them.
When the Pharisees walked among people they deemed unclean, they would try to wash off the contact. When Jesus came and walked among us who are unworthy of Him because of our sin, He got His hands dirty, He got sweaty, and He bled and died so we could be with Him. Cleanliness is nice but blood, sweat, and tears shed among the lost is where we truly get close to God.
Let us be a people who are not afraid to get to get our hands dirty for the glory of God. Let’s not be scared to go to where people are literally and figuratively in order to serve them and lead them to God.
Love Y’all! Be Blessed!