This study, taught by pastor Barry Forder, was recorded at our Sunday morning family service on 8th July 2018.
In Mark chapter 7 we see Jesus once again confronted with the professional religious leaders who had travelled down from Jerusalem. Sadly, they had not come to merely investigate the stories they had heard about the multitude of souls who had been healed or delivered from evil spirits; no, rather they had come to find fault with Jesus.
Like so many in the church today, they would rather point the finger and criticize anyone who doesn’t hold to the same ideas and traditions they do. In recent years the church has been plagued by so-called discernment ministries that love to find fault; they ignore Jesus’ words in Matthew 13 and try to uproot the tares, not stopping to think about the damage they are doing to the genuine wheat they uproot in the process. As long as they ‘get their man’ the feel justified in saying and printing their diatribes regardless of the precious souls whom they inadvertently harm. Yes, we must stand for the truth of God’s Word. Yes, doctrine is vitally important. Yes, we must contend for the faith at all costs – but in love (see 1 Cor 13 again!). The Biblical modal is to look to restore in the spirit of meekness (Gal 6:1), to reconcile (2 Thess 3:15), to rebuild (Philemon 1:15-16). The uprooting is not the job of the church.
Notice that in v2 they couldn’t find fault with Jesus, but with just some of His disciples!
[There is a lesson here to make sure we do not give God’s enemies reason to find fault with Jesus because of us! We are to be ambassadors who give ‘no appearance of evil’. (2 Cor 5:20 / 1 Thes 5:22)]
Jesus does not answer their question, He simply takes apart their argument by showing that their tradition had obscured the very Law it was intended to protect. The heart of the Law had been replaced by a legalism that kills.
Tradition may come about through well-meaning intentions, but it will ultimately do more harm than good, and it always becomes a barrier between man and God.
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study
The Powerpoint slides used in this study are also available for free download, and the audio can be streamed or downloaded for future use.