I. The individual woman and her daughter (7:24-30)
A. A Syro-Phoenician Gentile woman
B. Jesus’ initial mission was to the Jews, not to the Gentiles (cf. Mt. 10:5-6)
C. She was persistent, begging for the crumbs from the Master’s table
II. The individual man with physical limitations (7:31-37)
A. A deaf, mute man
B. Jesus took him away from the crowd and healed him (cf. Isaiah 35:5-6)
C. “He has done all things well” (cf. Acts 10:38)
III. The multitude in their hunger (8:1-10)
A. A group of 4000 Gentiles so devoted to following Jesus because of what He provided – healing “the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others” (cf. Matthew 15:29-31)
B. Why didn’t the apostles ask Jesus to do what they knew He could do after witnessing feeding the 5000 (Mark 6:30-44)?
C. Don’t ever try to limit the power of God to transform someone’s life because of who they are! (Romans 1:16)
A. The tradition—which may have started as a good reminder to the Jews—had been reduced to mere ritual
B. Accusing Jesus and His disciples was becoming common practice for the Pharisees (Mark 2:16, 18, 24)
II. The admonition (Mark 7:6-13)
A. Man’s tradition must not trump God’s truth! (Isaiah 29:13)
B. Acceptable worship and godly service requires both attitude and action – spirit and truth (John 4:24)
C. The example cited by Jesus: “Corban”
III. The source of defilement (Mark 7:14-23)
A. Defilement doesn’t come from one’s outward circumstance, but from his heart (Proverbs 4:23)
B. Sin is connected to the character and integrity and purity of one’s heart (Matthew 5:21ff; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8)
C. We have the choice (2 Timothy 2:22)
Mark Twain wrote, in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, “The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.”
Traditions are fine and good if we understand the basis and the basis is truth. Oftentimes, however, traditions are a hindrance rather than a help to obeying truth.
Jesus criticized the Pharisees’ traditions because they elevated their traditions to the level of—and at times contrary to—God’s revelation. Their traditions were so important to them that they were “laying aside the commandment of God” even to the point of rejection of His Word.
As a result of their man-made traditions, the Pharisees’ worship became useless. Jesus makes reference to Isaiah 29:13 when He says, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.”
May we ever follow God’s Word and test the teachings of men by the inspired revelation. Be like the Bereans in your study, who “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)
Mark 4:25. “For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
Pray for wisdom to follow God’s Word and reject teachings that contradict what He has revealed.
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)