Read Mark 7:1-23
1. Did you discover something new this time you read the chapter?
2. Look at Mark 7:1-13. Mark 7 begins by showing the Pharisees gathering to have a big confrontation with Jesus, sort of like if you were gathering all of your friends together to have a big show down with a bully at school. The Pharisees had been watching Jesus and gathering information about Him, to try to discredit Him and get rid of Him. Here they finally think they have a way to discredit Jesus by saying that He is breaking the law that God gave them. What is the difference between breaking a law and breaking a tradition? What happens when you break a law? What happens when you break a tradition? Which one is more important not to break? Which one has more severe consequences? Why? The Pharisees are saying that Jesus is breaking all the traditions that the Jews have lived by for many generations. Jesus does not dispute this, why? Jesus is trying to show the people that there is an important difference between breaking a law of God versus a tradition of man. Traditions can be changed and are changed by men; men cannot change the laws of the God only He can do so. The Pharisees had been making up so many traditions over the generations but treating them as laws of God. Do we do this? Are there any traditions that we think are like laws from God? Why must we see the difference between them? Does this make traditions bad things? Why not? Traditions or house rules are not bad in and of themselves but when we enforce them as laws of God that is where the problem lies. The problem also lies when our traditions contradict the laws of God, which is what is seen in this passage. So when you are following a tradition or a house rule, ask this question is this making me break God’s law or is it making me unable to follow God’s law, and if so should I be following it to begin with?
3. Look at Mark 7:14-23. Jesus give two very important declarations in this passage, one declaring that there is the difference between hearing and understanding, as well as declaring all foods as clean. First we will deal with Jesus declaration about hearing and understanding. Read the following word. “Catagelophobia”. Now that you have read it do you understand what it means? I bet you do not, neither did I. Catagelophobia means the fear of being made fun of. See there is a difference between hearing and understanding, just like there is a difference between seeing and understanding.
When Jesus was teaching the disciples as well as the crowd in the whole book of Mark, how were they seeing/hearing but not understanding? Why did they not understand? Does this happen to you when you read scripture? Do you read but do not understand? Why? How can you make sure you understand? You can do this by asking questions. If you do not understand something ask about it. Ask Dan, as Pastor Dennis, or anyone who is older than you in the faith. All of scripture is important and many times it is clouded by cultural context but that does not mean that it is unable to be understood. This is why we must always be studying God’s Word and learning how to apply it to our lives. I constantly learn new things about God’s Word every time I read scripture and I know you will as well. There is just one thing, to do so you must spend time in God’s Word.
The second declaration is about Jesus declaring all foods clean, which is an application of the first declaration of not understanding. In Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Leviticus there are a lot of laws. Some of these laws are about what foods the people of God could eat and not eat. What Jesus us saying in this passage is that the Jews read the law and followed it but they did not understand the reason or the meaning of the law. He therefore declares all food to be ok for them to eat. He further more says that the everyone does not understand the meaning of the Ten Commandments. Is there more meaning to the ten commands that just what it written in them? For instance what does the law “obey your father and mother” actually entail? Does it mean more than just your mother and father? Whom does it extended to? How far does this extend. It extends to anyone who is in authority over you. For there were put there by God to rule over you. Jesus is saying here that every command has more meaning behind it then which is written on the surface.
4. Do you have any questions about this chapter?