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Clean Hands

The established religious authorities of that day falsely accused Jesus Christ of doing "wrong," including His not making a self-righteous ritualistic show out of the simple act of handwashing.

"7:1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the Scribes, which came from Jerusalem. 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders [see The Senate]. 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables.

7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?" (Mark 7:1-5 KJV)

"Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men"

By the time of the first coming of the Christ, the Pharisees had taken The Lord's plain and simple dietary laws (see Clean and Unclean), as He gave to Moses, and added all sorts of their own man-made "laws of righteousness" that, while apparently intended to bring about greater obedience to The Lord, actually in some cases caused greater disobedience to Him. That was made obvious when they blasphemously accused The Messiah of being a sinner (see the Fact Finder question below). But what was the Son of God's response to those who blasphemously accused Him of doing wrong?

The Ten Commandments

"7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you Hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother [see Honour thy father and thy mother]; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 7:11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. 7:12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

7:14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man [see Conscience]. 7:16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear." (Mark 7:6-16 KJV)

Christ was not "unwashed." As the LORD God (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'), it was He that gave the Israelites the instructions about hygiene (e.g. "15:27 And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even" Leviticus 15:27 KJV), laws that He observed Himself. But what He didn't do was to take ceremonial observances that were originally given only to the priests in their service at the Tabernacle and make them a part of daily life of the entire population - that was not the point or purpose of those symbolic washings (the reason that the priests washed before performing the ritualistic washings). Moreover, and more wrongly, the Pharisees regarded their physical "clean" as a spiritual clean - which they, by their hypocrisy, certainly were not.

"7:17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. 7:18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; 7:19 Because it entereth not into his heart [see A Pure Heart], but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

7:20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man." (Mark 7:17-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: When and how did the "traditions" of Christ's accusers originate?
See Did Jesus Break The Law? and The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees; also What Law Was 'Nailed To The Cross'?


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