King James Bible Study – “And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Mark 8:34
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2019
Chapters: Matthew 15, Mark 7
Message: Tradition Over Faith
Hello My Friend,
As I was praying this morning it occurred to me just how much God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit play a part of my life individually. Oh, I am by far the model Christian, yet my God is always there with me, listening, waiting for me to talk to Him no matter where I am. Jesus is every bit of strength in me, as the Holy Spirit directs me, and even teaches me how to answer people through Scripture without even saying one Bible verse. Now, that is a powerful God living in and through us, who, I am ashamed to admit that I do not use to His full potential. We struggle so much more than we really need to because we do not utilize the amazing and powerful living God who lives inside us. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” – II Corinthians 3:5-6.
“but of the spirit: for the letter killeth,” We can talk about Jesus all we want from what is written in the Bible, but talk is cheap, it does absolutely nothing unless we apply Him to our lives. Religion sends more people to hell than those who have no idea who Jesus is. I cringe whenever I hear of someone famous getting baptized in the Jordan River, one, it is a priest doing it, and two, they have this false belief that that was what they needed to be saved. Water baptism does not save you! That is a false doctrine made up by a religion who cares more about following tradition than what the Word of God has to say. The Pharisees and scribes prided themselves on knowing the Law, they watch Jesus and the disciples as they sat down to eat without washing their hands first.
“Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?” – Mark 7:1-5.
“with unwashen, hands, they found fault.” We may not realize it, but since we walk with Jesus, the religious are going to find fault in everything we do. Why? We follow Jesus, they follow tradition. And Jesus calls them out for the hypocrites they are, and they do not like it. Watch how they react when Jesus calls them out.
“But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” – Matthew 15:2-9,12-14.
“Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended,” These cowards could not even step up and say that they did not like what He said, they complained to the disciples. We know who they are, these are the very people who criticize the pastor for a message that brings conviction to them, and then complain to the congregation that they were offended by him. Jesus calls them out for who they really are, and He tells us what to do with them. “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.” Again, religion sends more people to hell than those who have no idea who Jesus is. And I am talking about those who talk about Jesus. Do you think the Catholics are going to heaven by following the traditions made up by man who thinks of himself as the only one capable of speaking to God on your behalf? Blind leaders leading the blind, that is what they are, and they will answer to Jesus. Do not get me wrong, anyone can turn to Christ, and get saved, but they must be willing to hear the truth, which many are not, and that is why they remain in their religion. Now, even the disciples could not understand what Jesus was talking about, and asked Him what He meant.
“And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” – Mark 7:17-23.
“that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man,” What Jesus is saying here is that we are exposed to evil all day long, but it does not come to mind because it is not in our thoughts. Let me tell you, something only becomes temptation when it enters our heart, the second we plant that pride, that lust, that envy, that jealousy in our heart, that is when it defiles us. Just because we are saved by faith, that does not mean Jesus does not want us to trust Him with everything else, sometimes He is going to test our heart. Jesus wanted to show the Jews that their religious traditions were not going to save them, and whoever comes to Him believing will be saved over them. A Canaanite woman (in Mark she is known as a Greek woman), came to Jesus seeking healing for her daughter, and while He did have some questions for her, He saw her faith.
“And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.” – Matthew 15:22-28.
“Lord, help me.” Do you know the difference between the religious and saved? The saved are willing to cry out to Jesus. The religious have no relationship with God whatsoever, all they are doing is following the traditions that they were taught. There is no deep one on one connection with God, and let me tell you, they will be the first to tell you that they have no idea that whether or not what they are doing will get them into heaven. “great is thy faith:” What response was Jesus really looking for when He said to her that He was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel? Humbleness. The Jews, while they boasted of being the children of God, gave the name of dogs to the heathen, and this is why Jesus mentions dogs. The woman’s faith was so strong that she, recognizing herself as a heathen, unworthy of His help, was willing to take whatever He could give to heal her daughter. And that is great faith. “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” – James 4:5-6.
Just because people believed that Jesus was a great healer, that did not mean they believed Him to be the Messiah. A man was brought to Jesus, he was deaf and stuttered when he spoke. Through a rather odd illustration, Jesus heals the man completely. “And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.” – Mark 7:31-35.
“And looking up to heaven, he sighed,” Did He see their faith? No. That was the problem. They begged Jesus to touch him, not as having faith in the Son of God, rather in some sort of medicine man who can heal someone with the touch of his hand. And this is the reason why Jesus did what He did. This reminds me of my two year old nephew, he puts his forehead against mine to look straight into my eyes, then puts his arms around my neck to hug me. It is as if he is looking into my eyes to see if it is me. Did you know that kids can tell when we are not ourselves? Well, so can Jesus, He sees right through us, and knows where our faith really lies. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” – I John 5:10-12.
Today’s Prayer: God, I am asking You to forgive me for not utilizing You as the amazing, powerful God You are when You are always right here at my disposal. Thank You for Your mercies and grace, and for the knowledge You have given us to be able to fellowship with You one on one. We are not only a saved soul when we come to You through Your Son, we are one of Your children, and that is just amazing. Lord, lead us and guide us, teach us, and prepare us so that nothing in this world enters our heart and draws us away from You. Let us not get caught up in tradition, rather in Your Word that we may be able to withstand the evils of the day. And let us humble ourselves in that when we come to You You are willing to work in us that great power to its full potential. I ask these things in Your name, Jesus. Amen.
God Bless You, I am praying for you,
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