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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 107 -Mask-ing Tape

He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

Mark 7:6-8

There’s a masking tape, also known as painter's tape, that lets you keep paint in a certain area, and out of other areas. This tape’s put on and removed easily.

But then Jesus calls out these “mask-ing” hypocrites. Jesus doesn’t just let them slide. He doesn’t turn a blind eye saying, “boys will be boys.” Or in this case, “Scribes will be scribes.”

He firmly holds them accountable and uses some strong language that they would be very familiar with. He doesn’t use words or illustrations that they didn’t know or understand. They would have been very familiar with this quote. Not only was it well known, it also wasn’t very pleasing, positive, or pleasant.

Jesus says that they are hiding behind a mask. They are like Greek actors who put hold up a mask and speak their lines from behind. Actors pretend to be someone they’re not. They say lines and words written by someone else. Like a puppet or marionette, the actors are hiding in the background.

And these so-called spiritual leaders are the same. On the outside, they put on a mask of being holy, separated to God, better than the average man or woman on the street. But underneath the mask, behind the curtain, their real personalities are something altogether different. They pretend to be on the outside who they are not on the inside.

Jesus gives them a stinging condemnation.

1. Honor with lips – empty words fill the air and don’t really reflect who’s inside.

2. Hearts far from God – they are not just holding their hearts away from God, they choose and purposefully put a lot of distance between their empty hearte and God.

3. Worship in vain – empty ceremonies to impress others or delude themselves. Their worship is pointless, empty of adoration and praise from their innermost being.

4. Human rules – empty teaching and instruction, dependent on the skill and insight of the speaker and the alertness and smarts of the hearers.

5. Human traditions – These empty, repetitious events and activities that bring all the attention to the people and no longer point back to their creator, savior, and God.

Wow!. This is no baby Jesus, meek and mild, laying in a manger. This is no shy and unsure teacher. This is not someone who’s afraid of people not “liking” their latest post.

Did you notice that all five have the word “empty” in it? This isn’t an accident. Jesus speaks as a certain and strong individual. Someone who’s primary concern is on the truth and not their popularity. He is focused on what’s right and not how many followers they have on social media.

The clear and concise message is that we need to turn around from self-satisfaction and move to a life that is based and focused on satisfying the savior. Period. Left to ourselves, we will focus in on ourselves, trying to make ourselves satisfied, doing the things that we think will give us a flourishing life.

A flourishing life is one where we are putting down deep roots into life. Pulling nourishment and lifegiving water from the ground below. A flourishing life produces a healthy plant, new growth, beautiful blossoms, and nutritious fruit.

Does that describe your life?

If we’re honest, it really doesn’t. I know for me and my life, I certainly could use more flourishing. But flourishing doesn’t come from fixing ourselves, trying harder, yelling at ourselves. A truly flourishing life comes from looking totally and only to God for help, salvation, restoration.

With everything in my being, I encourage and beg you to turn towards God. Let Jesus fully restore you to your heavenly father.

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