The Text

Mark 7:1–7 (CSB)
1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him.

2 They observed that some of his disciples were eating bread with unclean—that is, unwashed—hands.

3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, keeping the tradition of the elders.

4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they have washed. And there are many other customs they have received and keep, like the washing of cups, pitchers, kettles, and dining couches.)

5 So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders, instead of eating bread with ceremonially unclean hands?”

6 He answered them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7 They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrines human commands.

The Devotion

The bent of mankind: more laws

Genesis 2:16-17 (CSB) And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”

Genesis 3:1-3 (CSB) Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit from the trees in the garden. 3 But about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God said, ‘You must not eat it or touch it, or you will die.’”

The bent of Christ: more grace

John 1:14-18 (CSB) The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him and exclaimed, “This was the one of whom I said, ‘The one coming after me ranks ahead of me, because he existed before me.’”) 16 Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from his fullness, 17 for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. The one and only Son, who is himself God and is at the Father’s side—he has revealed him.

The bent of Christ: more mercy

Matthew 12:1-8 (CSB) At that time Jesus passed through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick and eat some heads of grain. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry: 4 how he entered the house of God, and they ate the bread of the Presence—which is not lawful for him or for those with him to eat, but only for the priests? 5 Or haven’t you read in the law that on Sabbath days the priests in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what this means, I desire mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

The bent of Christ: more rest

Matthew 11:28-30 (CSB) “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The bent of Christ: more love

1 John 4:10-11 (CSB) Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.

The Discussion

1. Why do you think we try to put more laws on God's word?
2. Is putting our rules on top of God's rule a good thing? Is it a sin? 

Romans 13:1-2 (CSB) Let everyone submit to the governing authorities, since there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are instituted by God. 2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves.

Matthew 23:1-7 (CSB) Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees are seated in the chair of Moses. 3 Therefore do whatever they tell you, and observe it. But don’t do what they do, because they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They tie up heavy loads that are hard to carry and put them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves aren’t willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 They do everything to be seen by others: They enlarge their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels. 6 They love the place of honor at banquets, the front seats in the synagogues, 7 greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people.

3. Is the word of God and the law of God perfect? How so?

Psalm 19:7–10 (CSB)
7 The instruction of the LORD is perfect, renewing one’s life; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right, making the heart glad; the command of the LORD is radiant, making the eyes light up.

9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the LORD are reliable and altogether righteous.

10 They are more desirable than gold— than an abundance of pure gold; and sweeter than honey dripping from a honeycomb.

4. Did Jesus come to put more law on his law? What did he come to do?

Matthew 5:17-18 (CSB) Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished.

The Prayer

My Love
I will forever praise your holy name because I get to love you today.

And I love you today because you first love me.

I am yours and you are my Beloved forever.

Amen.

The Media

Today’s episode at The Study

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