Mark 6:53–7:13 53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored to the shore. 54 And when they got out of the boat, the people immediately recognized him 55 and ran about the whole region and began to bring the sick people on their beds to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or countryside, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and implored him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made well.
7 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he 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;
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
1. Study through Mark 6:53–7:13 together. What stands out to you and why?
2. Why does it seem Jesus is upset with these Pharisees and Sadducees? What things have you seen in the church today that may be close to what these men were doing? What things in your own life have you done or are you maybe doing now that actually contradict the Bible?
If we are not expecting the Bible to contradict us—not expecting it to reveal where we are thinking, feeling, or living wrongly—then we are operating under this false notion that we are already perfect or have already arrived. Worse yet, we may be subconsciously expecting God Himself to conform to us.
3. Do you agree with this? Why or why not? What areas of your life have you at some time realized were in contradiction with the Bible?
Jesus’ thoughts were mastered by the Bible.
One commentator notes that, “Whenever He had a problem, an issue, a question, some intellectual issue or ethical issue, the final word for Jesus was gegraptai” (which means “it is written”). He says this no less than 20 times in the gospel accounts and even here in verse 6. When He’s tempted by Satan in Matthew 4, teaching the crowds about His divinity in John 10, and when He clears the Temple in Luke 19 He says the same thing: “it is written.”
Jesus’ actions were mastered by the Bible.
Why did He not accept this tradition of Corban as these people practiced it? Because He was committed to acting rightly, according to what the Bible says. When Peter cuts the ear off of one of the guys coming to arrest Him, what does Jesus do? “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled?” (Matthew 26:53-54).
Jesus’ emotions were mastered by the Bible.
When Jesus was freshly scourged, having his flesh ripped from his body, He’s on his way to where He would be crucified and sees woman following him weeping. Turning back to them, what does He say? He quotes Isaiah! When He’s on the cross, in excruciating pain, not just physically but spiritually paying for sin, what comes out? He quotes Psalm 22, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” When He’s finally about to die, what comes out? Psalm 31, “Into your hands I commit my spirit”
4. Which of these most stands out to you and why? Taking our cue from Jesus, how can we make sure we are being intentional at letting the Bible master us?
The only way we’re going to be mastered by the Bible is if we are first mastered by the one to which the entire Bible points. Adam disobeyed the Father about the tree of life and brought death, but Jesus obeyed the Father about the tree of death and brought life. Abraham was sent by God the Father into a far country to start a people for God, but Jesus was sent by God the Father to even farther country to start an even greater people for God. Moses lead the people of God out of slavery in Egypt into the promised land, but Jesus is leading the people of God out of slavery to sin and death into the true promised land. David defeated the Giant, Goliath, with a few stones, but Jesus defeated the true Giants—Satan, sin, and death—with a few nails. The people of God reaped the benefits of David’s victory and so do we, in an even greater way, with Jesus. Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days, got out, preached repentance, and thousands of people were saved. Jesus was in the belly of the earth for three days, got out, preached repentance, and billions of people were saved. Look to Jesus, true and better in every way, and by God’s grace you will be mastered.
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