Week of 9/17/2017

I AM A BIG HYPOCRITE

Part 3, Get Some Hygiene

Talking through the message during the week helps you and your group turn what God is saying to you into action steps. Begin with the key questions, add any optional scriptures and questions if needed, and then wrap up by deciding on your next steps.  

Main Idea

Too often we major on the minor things in life.    

Read Mark 7:1-4  

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.) 

Key Questions

  • What are some social fashions or actions that some would criticize as taboo?  

  • What do some Christians criticize others for? Do you think these things are major or minor issues?  

  • What do you criticize in other people’s lives?  Oh, they’re materialistic.  Oh, they’re greedy.  Oh, they’re so lustful.  They’re so angry.   

Read Mark 7: 5-6  

So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, (There were 6,000 of these religious guys, not all of them were bad) “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.’” 

  • How did this question of the Pharisees, reveal their motivation?   

  • How did Jesus’ response reveal their hearts?  

Mark 7: 14-15, 17-23

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.”(NLT) 

  • Our actions do not define our relationship with God but instead our actions are defined by our relationship with God. Is this a true or false statement? Why?  

  • How are we sometimes hypocritical in our actions by pretending to be better than we are?  

Next Steps

  • As you go throughout this week remind yourself that you are a hypocrite. Allow your attitude to reflect compassion and love towards others.