A Matter of the Heart

Sermon from Mark 7:14-23

Like the Pharisees, we have a tendency to only worry about the mask we’re putting up on the outside, rather than worrying about what is on the inside. But Jesus speaks directly opposing to that tendency, saying that what matters most is what is found in the heart. Henry Drummond emphasizes it well:

“[Religious people] are inclined to look upon bad temper as a very harmless weakness. We speak of it as a mere infirmity of nature, a family failing, a matter of temperament, not a thing to take into very serious account in estimating a man’s character. And yet here, right in the heart of this analysis of love, it finds a place… The peculiarity of ill temper is that it is the vice of the virtuous. It is often the one blot on an otherwise noble character.” – Henry Drummond, The Greatest Thing in the World

We don’t need to be obsessive-compulsive about the outward behaviors, because they will never be able to deal with sin. Only God can address our heart problem, first by sending His Son to die for us and second by putting His Holy Spirit inside us to write His laws on our hearts and transform us from the inside. Stop worrying about the outward behaviors and traditions, and instead focus on Jesus’ work that allows you to come directly into the presence of the Holy God. He wants our hearts, not our outward appearances, and that then allows us to enter into true community with the Body of Christ, the Church.

A Matter of the Heart – Sermon by the Rev. Charlie Holt from The Church of St John the Divine on Vimeo.