The Pharisees and some legal experts from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. 2 They saw some of his disciples eating food with unclean hands. (They were eating without first ritually purifying their hands through washing. 3 The Pharisees and all the Jews don’t eat without first washing their hands carefully. This is a way of observing the rules handed down by the elders. 4 Upon returning from the marketplace, they don’t eat without first immersing themselves. They observe many other rules that have been handed down, such as the washing of cups, jugs, pans, and sleeping mats.) 5 So the Pharisees and legal experts asked Jesus, “Why are your disciples not living according to the rules handed down by the elders but instead eat food with ritually unclean hands?” 6 He replied, “Isaiah really knew what he was talking about when he prophesied about you hypocrites. He wrote, This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. 7 Their worship of me is empty since they teach instructions that are human words. 8 You ignore God’s commandment while holding on to rules created by humans and handed down to you.” 14 Then Jesus called the crowd again and said, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand. 15 Nothing outside of a person can enter and contaminate a person in God’s sight; rather, the things that come out of a person contaminate the person.” 21 “It’s from the inside, from the human heart, that evil thoughts come: sexual sins, thefts, murders, 22 adultery, greed, evil actions, deceit, unrestrained immorality, envy, insults, arrogance, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from the inside and contaminate a person in God’s sight.” (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23, CEB)
Martin Luther once wrote in a letter to Philip Melanchthon that he should Sin Boldly! Because Philip was struggling with life and his own sinfulness. Luther said “Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (or “Sin boldly”),but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world.”
I have talked alot about this quote with many people lately because it is on the front (Sin Boldly) and the back (full quote) of a shirt for the ministry I serve now. And I tell people Luther was telling Melanchthon to not be so concerned with the rules that you are just focusing on not sinning. We should be so about sharing God’s love because we know regardless of what we do God will love us and forgive us.
So sin boldly and don’t be caught up in the rules. Just live the love of God out loud.
Love People. Love God.