True Worship: Lips Versus Heart

6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

~ Mark 7:6 -9 (KJV)


Jesus is responding to accusations from the Pharisees and teachers of the law about his and his disciples’ lack of adherence to the tradition of handwashing before meals. He rebukes them for placing too much emphasis on external rituals and customs, causing them to disregard the true purpose of God’s commandments.

Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah to emphasize that their worship had become empty and hypocritical. Although they appeared to honor God with their lips and outward actions, their hearts were not genuinely devoted to Him. Jesus accuses them of prioritizing their own human rules and traditions over the commandments of God.

Let us remember that God discerns our true intentions and motives. God does not see not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. It emphasizes the significance of offering sincere worship and obedience to God rather than merely going through the motions or saying empty words. God searches the heart.

Jesus emphasized the importance of showing respect for God through both words and actions, having true worship, and aligning our hearts with God’s will in Mark 7:6-9. This reinforces the idea that worship and obedience should come from a genuine love for God and a willingness to follow His teachings, rather than just relying on religious customs and rituals.

By highlighting this discrepancy, Jesus challenges religious leaders to reevaluate their priorities and redirect their focus to the heart of God’s teachings rather than clinging to man-made traditions. It serves as a reminder to prioritize the true worship of God over external observances.

This week’s challenge

Think about any traditions or religious practices you follow without understanding why. Are they helping or hurting your connection with God? Ask for help to let go of any practices that get in the way of your true worship.


Heavenly Father,

We humbly come before You with open hearts, seeking Your presence and guidance. We acknowledge that our worship should go beyond empty traditions and external rituals. Instead, we yearn for a personal relationship with You.

Dear Father, please help us examine our hearts and show us if we are putting traditions before worshiping you. Please give us the strength to let go of anything that stops us from worshiping you completely. Thank you for your love and mercy.

Father, please help us honor and worship You with all our hearts. Help us seek You sincerely and passionately, and may our words and actions show that we intend to follow Your commandments and love You above everything else.

We ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in life. We want a deep relationship with You, without just following traditions. Please help us truly love You and want to know You better.

This we pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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