Mark 7. Forum Discussion

Chapter 7 begins with a lesson from Jesus about traditions. Mark writes:


“The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,

BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.

‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,

TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’

Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.

He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.”


The scribes and Pharisees were going after Jesus in a legalistic way. But Jesus was able to see inside of their hearts and realized that their actions were motivated by their own sinful desires for power and recognition and not by love for God and His commandments. Jesus makes a clear distinction between the traditions of men and the commandments of God. We need to be careful that we do not fall into the same trap of taking our own traditions and treating them as if they were based on the scriptures.


When Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah by saying, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me,” He is saying that what we do is more important than what we say. We can say that we love Jesus all we want, but our actions will speak louder than our words. If we love Him, we are to keep His commandments – John 14:15.


In verse 9. Jesus says to the scribes and Pharisees, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” Here Jesus points out that there are some people that are so caught up in earthly power and recognition that they will deliberately disobey God for selfish motives. They will keep doing the things that they know are wrong, even to the destruction of their souls, if they believe it will help them hold onto their status or possessions. As we have just seen, this is not what pleases God. He would rather that we practice humility while keeping His commandments and spreading the good news about Christ. Amen 

Comments

People have been trying to manipulate the gospel since the days of Jesus' stay on earth. There is nothing new under the sun.

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