2 March 2024 – It Is What Comes Out Of A Person That Defiles

LENT 2024 | DAY 16 | Saturday, 2nd March 2024


Mark 7:1-23 (NIV)

It Is What Comes Out Of A Person That Defiles

LENT 2024 | DAY 16

Mark 7:1-23 (NIV)

(Philip Oh, Chairperson, Pastor-Parish Relations Committee)

As I read and reflected on Mark 7, two portions caught my attention as they had reminders and potential applications for me:

1) Verse 7 (CEV): “It is useless for you to worship me, when you teach rules made up by humans.”

As a long-time facilitator and trainer for DISCIPLE classes, I wondered whether I was errant in over-emphasising any personal beliefs or preferences in an inappropriate way. After all, facilitators are always taught to point participants back to Scripture, where the truth lies. Where necessary, we help each other struggle with the living Word, through prayer, searching the Scriptures and asking God for wisdom and discernment!

2) Verses 18 to 20 (CEV): “…the food you put into your mouth cannot make you unclean” and “… what comes from your heart is what makes you unclean.”

I remember as a child the severe warnings we were given by elderly aunts and relatives that we must not consume coagulated blood found in the delicious Penang curry mee nor eat the delicious cakes frequently brought back by our black and white helpers (Mah-Cheh) from the Chinese temple!

I must be careful to follow Scripture wholly and not to dilute portions that are less palatable or less attractive to me or my participants.

I must always ask for God’s wisdom and presence as I facilitate DISCIPLE classes. James 3:1 is ever present in my mind about the onerous responsibility and the clear reminder that “… you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”

Whilst verse 18 onward declared all foods clean, I must make sure that my actions do not stumble new Christians or those less conversant with Scripture.  Whether it is the excessive consumption of alcohol that leads to loose words or eating food from another religious worship, I must make sure I am a good example to those that observe my behaviour.  I must also make sure I do not stumble a fellow believer, to not leave doubt or confusion in another’s mind. “If in doubt, don’t!”


1.  In your marketplace, have you encountered family or cultural traditions that have clashed with Bible teachings?  How did you personally deal with the matter?

2. To what extent is your marketplace life kept separate and distinct from your church life? Why is that so?

3.  In what way is Jesus’ view of becoming unclean different from that of the Pharisees?

Note: Mark 7:24-30 will be the Scripture passage for the sermons on Sunday, 3 March 2024.

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