Growing up, this was always the rule for hands before eating and faces and ears before school. My room was given up as a lost cause!
But cleanliness is also a religious question – the question really!
How can we who are unclean come near to God?
Not hand-washing for sure! Here Jesus trivializes it along with the religious leaders who promoted it. Called them – Blind Guides!
Their hands were squeaky clean, but their hearts remained untouched.
The Teacher says our journey to God starts from the inside!
He begins with a brilliant diagnosis of the root cause of our problems –
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
Today, much of what passes for religion is still just hand-washing. Ritual, religious ceremony, it's all about how things look on the outside! Almost by habit we go to church, but our hearts remain the same.
The Teacher always focuses attention inward – to our hearts. It’s there He wants to begin His work of cleansing and life transformation.