In His Service

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#19 Feb 27, 2010
February 28, 2010
The Country Of Old Age ...

Mark 7:1-13 (New International Version)

Mark 7
Clean and Unclean
1The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from
Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and 2saw some of his disciples eating
food with hands that were "unclean," that is, unwashed. 3(The
Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a
ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4When they
come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they
observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers
and kettles.[a])
5So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't
your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead
of eating their food with 'unclean' hands?"

6He 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.
7They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.'[b] 8You have let
go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of

9And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the
commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions! 10For
Moses said,'Honor your father and your mother,'[d] and,'Anyone who
curses his father or mother must be put to death.'[e] 11But you say
that if a man says to his father or mother:'Whatever help you might
otherwise have received from me is Corban'(that is, a gift devoted to
God), 12then you no longer let him do anything for his father or
mother. 13Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you
have handed down. And you do many things like that."

a.Mark 7:4 Some early manuscripts pitchers, kettles and dining couches
b.Mark 7:7 Isaiah 29:13
c.Mark 7:9 Some manuscripts set up
d.Mark 7:10 Exodus 20:12; Deut. 5:16
e.Mark 7:10 Exodus 21:17; Lev. 20:9
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

If anyone does not provide for his own,...[he] is worse than an
unbeliever.—1 Timothy 5:8In the book Another Country, author Mary
Pipher met with people in their seventies, eighties, and nineties who
were confronting many different life situations.

“I wanted ... to understand the country of old age,” Pipher writes.
“We are not organized in a way that makes aging easy.” The root
problem, she observed, is that young and old have become segregated,
to the detriment of both groups.

This social trend is not necessarily intentional. But many people do
ignore and shirk their responsibilities for the elderly. In Jesus’
day, the Pharisees found creative ways to avoid their family duties.
In Mark 7:9-13, Jesus rebuked their common practice of dedicating
their material possessions to God (declaring them as Corban) rather
than using their assets to provide for their parents. Their tradition
had violated the commandment to honor their father and their mother.

Our children, work, and church activities can pull us in many
directions. But that doesn’t excuse us from honoring our aging parents
by making provision for their needs, as much as we are able (1 Tim.
5:8). When the time comes for us to enter the country of old age,
let’s hope we’ve set the right example for our own children to follow.
— Dennis Fisher

Providing for our parents’ needs
With loving words and selfless deeds
Is what the Lord expects of those
Who try to follow where He leads.—Sper

Honoring our parents is learned by example. ...

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