Wash, Wash, wash your hands, play our handy game. Rub and scrub, rub and scrub, germs go down the drain ` is a nursery rhyme which encourages children to wash their hands regularly. But now with coronavirus dominating our lives, it is a fitting saying that should be used to encourage adults to wash their hands regularly too, but not just with this disease but generally, because it is hygienic to do so.
Washing hands play an important part of daily living especially when eating food and in Matthew 15:2-3, Jesus is confronting the Pharisees [Religious rulers] because they were complaining that the disciples had not washed their hands prior to eating with them for they said in v2; `they don’t wash their hands before eating.` But Jesus responded in v3, `why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition`.
As we put this verse into perspective, Jesus was not condoning bad hygiene because I`m sure after a hard day’s work in the dust and heat of Jerusalem and touching numerous objects along the way, the disciples would have washed their `grubby` hands before eating. The pharisees were complaining because the disciples had not washed their hands from a ritual point of view, because they believed that no one could enter the presence of God unless they had.
And so, Jesus begins tackling their complaint in v3, by focusing on their hypocritical traditions and religious behaviour because their HEARTS and MINDS were not clean from unGodly living. They were more concerned with their hands than their hearts but Jesus was and still is, more concerned about `clean living and purity of heart` than unwashed hands.
In today’s society, it`s very easy to become contaminated by sin and so it`s important that Christians clean their hearts and minds regularly too. Yes, wash your hands for 20 seconds as commanded by the NHS but more importantly, allow your whole body to be cleansed for much longer from the rubbish that is affecting our lives. Sadly, we live in a world where `filth` is affecting Stand-up comedy, TV programmes, sit coms and movies and so I encourage you as Jesus did with the Pharisees, to `KEEP IT CLEAN`. …
REFLECTION How can the Pharisees rituals challenge you to NOT get caught up in religion or things contrary to God`s Word and His teachings?
MEDITATION Where do you need God to `purify your heart` so you are free to live the Christian faith without restriction or guilt?
ACTION We’ve been told by the NHS to wash our hands for 20 seconds. My challenge is: to spend 20 seconds a day asking God to cleanse you from the `filth` of the world`. You will feel Spiritually cleaner if you do.