Unwashed hands

Matthew Bible Background

02.27.2018 – New Testament: Mark 7.2–4

To read the Bible in a year, read Mark 7.1–23 on February 27, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

The Pharisees and scribes always seemed to be around Jesus, looking for something wrong. In their minds, they found it when they noted that His disciples did not wash their hands when they ate,

Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches (Mark 7.2–4).

We have also become obsessed today with hand-washing, though for different reasons than the Jews. Here the Jews obsessed about washing the rest of society off themselves, which was the basic idea behind Pharisee, which means separate.


  • What is your connection with society?
  • Are you overly concerned with outward cleansing, but fail to wash the inside?

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