Jesus is being challenged over and over again by the religious leaders of his day. But his responses teach us much about his deity, his ministry, and the nature of salvation. This week we also learn about the nature of the word of God and how much Jesus trusts it.
Read Mark 7:1-13.
Simple Discussion Questions for Small Groups:
To start your group, have everyone share one way they have seen God at work in their life this week.
1. Do you struggle to trust the Bible? Why?
2. What are some ways that you have seen Christians (including yourself) elevate tradition to the same level as scripture?
3. Do you agree with this statement: “The purpose of the Bible is not behavior modification, but heart transformation.” Do you see the Bible in this way?
4. Review the Fighter Verse- Luke 24:27. And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
All of the Bible is about Jesus. “Every page whispers his name.” How would believing this change your understanding of the Bible?
To close your group, have everyone share one challenge they will face this week. Have group members pray for each other as well as pray other Kingdom Centered Prayers.
For Deeper Discussion:
1. The Authority of the Bible.
Read Mark 7:1-13. What traditions did the Pharisees expect Jesus to obey? How did he respond to this? How did he use scripture to challenge the Pharisees?
Is it easier for you to follow Jesus or follow the Bible? Why can we not separate these two ideas?
*Remember: Jesus followed the Bible. He knew it, quoted it, and lived from it as the word of his Father. Also, all of the Bible is fulfilled or points to him. In a very real sense, he IS the Bible. He is the final revelation of God that completes the Bible’s revelation of God.
2. The Purpose of the Bible.
Read Mark 7:6. How is it possible for a person to obey the Bible but yet their heart is very far from God?
The pursuit of outward righteousness can lead to the feeling of inward self- righteousness. Have you ever seen this in your own life? Have you ever felt like God owed you blessings because you were obeying the Bible?
Why is obedience to the Bible apart from love for God meaningless?
3. The God of the Bible.
Are there any parts of the Bible that make you uncomfortable with God?
Pastor Mark said, “in order to accept the authority of the Bible and trust its purposes we must love the God of the Bible.” Do you agree with this statement? How can knowing that every part of the Bible is about Jesus help you to love the God of the Bible more?
If we are in a love relationship with God, doesn’t that mean that He should be sacrificing for me just as I am supposed to sacrifice for Him? YES. In what way does Jesus (his life and death) demonstrate the greatest sacrifice of love for us? Is God asking you to do for Him what He himself is not willing to do for you?
Discussion Questions for Families.
This scripture passage may be a little harder for children to understand. But they can begin to understand love and the difference between obeying because they have to, and obeying because they love you.
If you never teach your children that obedience should flow from love, they will rebel as soon as they get a chance. Josh McDowell used to say “rules without relationship lead to rebellion.”
Also parents, commit to teaching your children the Bible from a Jesus perspective. Show your children that every Bible story points to Jesus. Don’t use the Bible to weigh your children down with law, without also showing them the grace that is in Jesus’ life and death for them.
If you have young children and do not already own the Jesus Storybook Bible buy it here asap. Sally Lloyd Jones does a great job of connecting the stories of scripture to the gospel of Jesus.