A few of us may remember a night spent with dear, dear friends camping in the woods. Deep, off-site camping.
There were four of us. Two were afraid of bears. A couple afraid of humans.
In the end two slept. And two did not. The sleepers were candid–
we slept because we knew you were awake.
Guarding us, so to speak.
Vigilant and awake
Maybe a little paranoid, even.
Tired in the morning.
Some will stay awake
So that the little ones can be
Mark 7:1-2 (NIV)
The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and  saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were “unclean,” that is, unwashed.
Hand washing is good. Heck, it is downright healthy. What were the disciples thinking? Philistines.
The mosaic laws involving ritual cleansing were given to ensure public health. God never gave any lengthy biology lectures, He just wrote public health into the spiritual rules. Efficient.
But the Israelites obsessed about the “easy” rules and often ignored the hard ones–pride, lust, violence are hard to confront, but hey! A good twenty minute hand washing ritual makes a dude feel clean.
And Jesus’ disciples were getting freedom from the ritual laws as well as access to the best source for how to love and avoid sin–Jesus.
Jesus knows our hearts and he knows how to clean them. Often the most dangerous people are those who agitate for the picky little ceremonies and utterly ignore their own maggot-infested hearts.