Sat, Mar 17, 2012 at 1:00pm to Sat, Mar 24 at 6:00am EDT

Getting Started

Is it possible to follow all the rules and still do the wrong thing? Explain. What is the difference between tradition and law?

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Discussion

What stood out to you as you read this?

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Today's Passage

Mark 7:1-23 NIV

The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?" He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions." And he continued, "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and mother,' and, 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.' But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that." Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them." After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn't go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.) He went on: "What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person's heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person."

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Put yourself in the story as the various characters. What were they thinking, observing, and experiencing?

-Pharisees -Crowd -Disciples -Jesus

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Think about it

What sin do the Pharisees accuse Jesus of, and had you been there, would you have felt the same way?

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Think about it

Are there traditions within Adventism that we have elevated to the place of laws?

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Wrap Up

What did you learn about God from this passage? What did you learn about yourself?

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Action

How can this passage help you in the context of living as a Christian in 2012? What must I change? What decisions must I make? What action must I take?

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Prayer Time

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