Mark 7:1-2,5-8 NRSVue
1Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 5So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders but eat with defiled hands?” 6He 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;
7in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
8“You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
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Some thoughts on this scripture
Jesus with his uneducated disciples is mixing with sophisticated Pharisees from Jerusalem, men who have mastered the intricate rules about ritual purity, and look down on those who are ignorant of them. As Christians we can set up our own norms of what is god-fearing and respectable, and forget that it is the heart that matters. Jesus always sees through the externals of behaviour to the love and goodness that may lie beneath.