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Mark groups together some stories of Jesus that show how he challenged the traditions of that time. The Pharisees, who were religious leaders, ignored important laws God had given in order to follow rules they had made up. In general, people were too concerned about external appearances and not concerned about their internal attitudes. Jesus even goes so far as to praise a Gentile (non-Jew) for her faith. This was really counter to the traditions of that day! Parents especially understand the external appearance and internal attitude problem. You can get your child to clean his room, but he might have a bad attitude about it. The room gets clean, but the child hasn’t decided that cleanliness matters. Jesus always emphasized internals; he commanded us to love our neighbor instead of giving a bunch of rules about how to treat our neighbor. As he said in this chapter, the things we do only reveal what’s on the inside. When you catch yourself doing something wrong, do you say, “I’m never doing that again” or, “Why did I do that?” The question gets to the internal attitude and is the better thing to address. You will need God’s help in changing the attitude. Thankfully, he lives in us in the form of the Holy Spirit.