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Mark 7:1-13

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord's Denouncement of the Scribes and Pharisees

Mark 7:1-13

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Lesson Number 28

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Scripture is the final and ultimate authority.
  2. The Scriptures are complete and sufficient.

Practical Application

  1. Let us not add to or take away from Scripture.
  2. Always distinguish between Scripture and tradition.
  3. Don't use God as an excuse for neglecting our God-given responsibilities.

Questions

  1. Who were the Pharisees? Who were the scribes?
  2. In this instance, why did they travel from Jerusalem to Galilee?
  3. What did the "committee" ask Jesus? How did He answer them?
  4. Is the church the final authority?
  5. How can a person distinguish between Scripture and tradition?
  6. Give an example of a good tradition.
  7. What is the end result of an enforced tradition?

Answers

  1. The Pharisees were a religious party who arose during the intertestamental period. They were self-righteous. The scribes copied the Scriptures, and thus became the official interpreters of the Scriptures and the law. Often they were the lawyers of that day.
  2. They came as a fault-finding committee to check out this popular Jesus.
  3. Seek 7:1-5. Jesus not only answered the question of washing, but He accused them of keeping other traditions, making the word of God ineffective. See Mark 7:6-13, just one of their many acts of hypocrisy.
  4. No. Tradition, not even good tradition, is equal to or above Scripture. The word of God is the final authority.
  5. Check it out - does the Bible say it, or is it is church doctrine, not found in the Bible?
  6. Having a quiet time before daybreak. Disciplining yourself is good, but beware lest it lead to legalism and pride.
  7. It can lead to lip service and vain worship. See Mark 6:7 and Isaiah 29:13.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Have you had the experience of being caught up in a religious tradition (legalism) to the point that it kept you from a heart-felt love for Jesus Christ? If so, reconsider the real values in your spiritual life. Free yourself up so you can enjoy the Lord.
  2. Do you believe that the Scriptures are the final and ultimate authority, complete and sufficient? If so, do you always look to the Lord for wisdom and guidance?

Challenge

  1. Develop such a concern for your parents and/or children that you are willing to cut back on your own pleasure pursuits. Think how you ought to provide for them. (Actually, there are many activities that you can enjoy together, so it may not be an either/or).

Key Verses

  • "Jesus answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: this people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' 'All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition." (Mark 7:6-7, 9)

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