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Bible Commentaries
Mark 7

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NTLuscombe's NT Commentary

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Verses 1-5


TITLE: Well Intentioned Dragons TEXT: Mar_7:1-4 PROPOSITION: In every group there are some dragons. QUESTION: Who? KEY WORD: Descriptions READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Every church has them (Dragons)

2. Read quote from page 11.

3. How can you recognize a dragon?

Hunting Dog

1. 4-legged kind point where the hunter should shoot

2. 2-legged kind become the ears, eyes, nose of the leadership

3. Point out problems that need to be dealt with

4. You need to check on Mrs. X, marital problems

5. Why doesn't someone do something about _ _?

Wet Blanket

1. A negative disposition that becomes contagious

2. It is no use even trying. Won't work

3. We tried that once

Captain Bluster

1. In attitude, if not in word, they are right and all others are wrong

2. A steamroller who flattens anyone in their way

3. Negotiation is a dirty word; compromise is unspeakable

Fickle Financier

1. Uses money to register approval or disapproval

2. Think money means clout - voting power

Busybody - tells others how to do their job Sniper - avoids face-to-face; shoots behind people's back Bookkeeper - keeps a written record of everything Merchant of Muck - willing to listen to everyone's gripes Legalist - kind of car to drive, what songs to sing, etc. at infinitum BEST DEFENSE

1. Don't become bitter - Heb_12:15 “see that no bitter root grows up”

2. Encourage a positive attitude - Look for the good, spit our the bones

3. Reinforce productive members - bulletin, rainbows, plaque, honor them

4. Share outside interests - find a common ground

5. Cultivate personal trust - Dig beneath the surface

“Within the church, they are often sincere, well-meaning saints, but they leave ulcers, strained relationships, and hard feelings in their wake. They don't consider themselves difficult people. They don't sit up nights thinking of ways to be nasty. Often they are pillars of the community - talented, strong personalities, deservingly respected - but for some reason, they undermine the ministry of the church. They are not naturally rebellious or pathological; they are loyal church members, convinced they're serving God, but they wind up doing more harm than good.” Well Intentioned Dragons , Marshall Shelley, page 11


TITLE: Traditions - What are they? TEXT: Mar_7:1-5 PROPOSITION: We must learn the difference in a custom and a tradition. QUESTION: What? KEY WORD: Kinds SCRIPTURE READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

Study two words - Tradition, Custom

Tradition - four passages.

1. Mat_15:1-9 and Mar_7:1-13 - Same event described

2. Gal_1:14

3. Col_2:8


1. Long standing practice - Mat_27:15 ; Mar_10:1

2. Law - Luk_1:9 ; Luk_2:27 ; Luk_2:42 ; Luk_4:16 ; Act_6:14 ; Act_15:1

3. Religious practice - 1Co_11:16 “we have no custom”

4. Religious teachings - Act_16:21 ; Act_21:21


1. "Tradition" Vine - "A handing down, a handing over"

2. "Custom" Vine - "A custom, habit, manner, see 'wont'."

3. "Wont" Vine - "As he had ever done; as was his custom; to be accustomed"

Two kinds of "traditions".

1. Good - 1Co_11:2 ; 2Th_3:6 ; 2Th_2:15

2. Bad - Mar_7:4 ; Mar_7:8 ; Col_2:8

Do we have any traditions?

Yes. Some good. Some WRONG! Are we REALLY Tradition - Bound? YES!

1. When to stand; Order of service; Closing prayer; Invitation song

2. Wednesday night Bible Study; Sunday night worship; Statement at a baptism

3. Baptism must be: At a worship service

Tradition does not make the thing right or wrong.

1. It makes "you" wrong in binding it.

2. Legalism is wrong.

3. Formalism is wrong.


Verses 6-13


TITLE: Void the Word TEXT: Mar_7:6-13 PROPOSITION: We can make the Bible void. QUESTION: How? KEY WORD: Methods READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. The Word is powerful ( Heb_4:12 )

2. It is the Word of God.

3. How can one make it useless?

Take out of context - women can smoke ( Gen_24:64 )“A text removed from its context becomes a pretext.” Misquote - Rev_2:20 “forbid that woman to teach” Omit a word, read part of a sentence Eisegesis - read into the text opinions, pre-conceived notions We all come to a text with out own notions. They must be set aside. Explain away - Act_2:38 - “For” means because of (but not in Mat_26:28 ) Many examples could be given - Baptim, Lord's Supper weekly, church organization Reject the source - higher criticism, Paul did not write Romans (written in 4th century) Genesis was written by 4 authors (JEDP theory); Mark wrote - other copied from him Reject inspiration - Joh_12:48 - Broad sweep - “I don't believe the Bible is from God.” Simple to reject the Bible. Most can't explain WHY they reject. They reject because they disagree. Deny authority - Bible PLUS - tradition, public opinion, personal views“I know it says that, but God won't expect me to obey it.” My opinion carries as much weight as the Bible does. Substitution - tradition (our text) Cancel the command of God to keep our traditions. Addition - Instrumental music added to Eph_5:19 Rev_22:18 Subtraction - Delete “confess with your mouth” from Rom_10:9-10 Rev_22:19 Spiritualize - read secondary meaning into every text Many explain away by giving “spiritual” interpretation. Dove = Holy Spirit; Water = cleansing; Sword = Word of God; Fire = power from God


TITLE: Traditions - When are they wrong? TEXT: Mar_7:9-13 PROPOSITION: Traditions can become sinful without realizing it. QUESTION: How? KEY WORD: Ways SCRIPTURE READING: Same

1. This morning we discussed what traditions are.

2. This evening - When do they become wrong, sinful?

When it divides.

1. God hates division. 1Co_1:10 ; Pro_6:19

2. We should seek unity. Eph_4:1-7

3. Examples of the division: One cup, foot washing, break bread, eat in building

When it becomes law and binding as "the way".

1. Methods of evangelism, Worship order, Program of work

2. "There is more than one way to skin a cat." There is more than one way to worship, evangelize, teach a class, serve communion, preach a sermon, etc.

3. What we do is usually arrived at by trial and error. "We tried that many years ago. It didn't work."

4. Doctrines do not change. People do; the world does; attitudes do; methods do.

When it replaces a commandment.

1. Mar_7:1-37 "It is Corban."

2. Most denominational doctrines are traditions.

3. God says "A" and someone teaches "B" about music, baptism, one church, etc.

When we defend what we are (status quo).

1. Restoration Movement - 1790 to 1990

2. We feel we have "arrived" See Php_3:11-16

When we stop "restoring" the N. T. church.

1. We have restored: Worship, Organization, Name, Salvation plan

2. We have not restored: Fellowship, Zeal, Unity, Spirit of worship

3. 1Pe_4:11 - Speak as the oracles of God

When we reject things that are "right" because others do it, or do it that way.

1. Mother's Day, Pastors, Bishops, Responsive reading, Say, "Amen”

2. Deaconesses, Testify, witness

When we fail to teach some doctrines.

1. Holy Spirit - Indwelling and work today, Security of believers

2. Priesthood of believers, Spirit of worship, Grace

3. Last things - Judgment, Heaven, Hell

When it causes us to be complacent and apathetic. Survey by tom Holland:

1. Problems the church faces as seen by Elders:

Apathy 55%, Liberalism 30%, Divorce 25%, Unwilling to work 20%

1. Problems of 90's as seen by preachers:

Liberalism, Worldliness, Divorce, Compromise with error, Apathy, Ignorance of the Bible

How to Break With Tradition Without Breaking the Church

Change must come S L O W L Y.

1. People are slow to adjust to changes.

2. Change must be: Prepared for, explained, and given time.

Change must be helpful, an improvement.

1. Change for the sake of change = Chaos.

2. Change is accepted when you can give a valid reason for the need to change.

We must PLAN to teach ourselves better.

1. Sermons, Classes, Programs of work, Personal study

Verses 14-23

TITLE: Worms in the Apple TEXT: Mar_7:14-23 PROPOSITION: Many sins begin on the inside. QUESTION: Which? KEY WORD: Sins READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. We often excuse sin - someone else led me astray, tempted me, etc.

2. Jesus is teaching that many sins (not all) begin on the inside and travel out

3. Read attached article - how a worm gets in an apple. (see below)

Public teaching (14-16)

1. Nothing from the outside defiles us

2. Not what goes in harms us, what comes out harms us

3. External things can harm us - alcohol, drugs - but started inside with desire

Private explanation (17-20)

1. Our body takes care of dirt from the outside

2. It is the dirt inside that harms us

3. NOT: out of our body systems

4. BUT: out of our heart (mind, soul, desires, will, emotions)

5. Jam_1:13-15 - Not from God, Process = Lust > Sin > Death

Jesus' list (21-23)

1. Sexual - Adultery, Fornication, Evil thoughts (lust), Lasciviousness

2. Property - Theft, Covetousness, Wickedness (bad, mean)

3. Inter-personal - Murder, Deceit, Blasphemy (hurtful speech), Evil eye

4. Personal - Pride, Foolishness

A Worm In An Apple How does a worm get inside an apple? Perhaps you think the worm burrows in from the outside. No, scientists have discovered that the worm comes from the inside. But, how does he get in there? Simple. An insect lays an egg in the apple blossom. Sometime later the worm hatches in the heart of the apple, then eats his way out. Sin, like the worm, begins in the heart and works out through the person's thoughts, words and actions.

Verse 24

TITLE: Could not be Hidden TEXT: Mar_7:24 PROPOSITION: Jesus cannot be hidden QUESTION: Why? KEY WORD: Questions READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. Jesus did not seek publicity

2. Jesus wanted to hide - make no headlines

3. But he could not be hidden

Why did Jesus want to be hidden?

1. Not seeking publicity - unlike many televangelists today

2. Not wanting fame to spread too fast - timing

3. Joh_7:6-8 - My time is not yet

4. Luk_9:53 - He was heading toward Jerusalem

Why could he not be hidden?

1. Doing good - Act_10:38 “went about doing good” Mar_7:37 “Does all things well”

2. He was meeting people's needs

3. Healing, helping, feeding

4. Blind, deaf, lame, dead, sick, demon possessed

5. He was preaching what people needed to hear

6. Mat_4:17 - Jesus preached - repent, kingdom at hand

7. Mat_4:23 - In synagogue - gospel of kingdom

8. He was offering hope, forgiveness, salvation

9. He was making the complicated - simple

Can Jesus be hidden in your life?

1. Do not deny Jesus - Mat_10:33

2. 2Ti_2:12 - If we deny him, he will deny us.

3. Be open with your faith - Joh_12:42 - believed but not confessed

Verses 25-30

TITLE: Who is the dog? TEXT: Mar_7:24-30 PROPOSITION: God has some established priorities. QUESTION: Why? KEY WORD: Explanations READING: Same INTRODUCTION:

1. At first reading - many think Jesus is calling her a dog.

2. What is the message of this conversation?

Not prejudice - name calling - contempt for gentiles

1. Jesus died for ALL men - all races, all nations

2. All are invited to come. Salvation is open to all people.

I missed my turn

1. As a child, wait for adults to eat first.

2. Now as an adult, wait for the kids to eat first.

3. I missed my turn at being first.

Priority was Jews first.

1. John the Baptizer

2. Jesus - limited commission Mat_15:24 ; Mat_10:5-6

3. Paul - Rom_1:16

4. Went to synagogues - first

5. Finally - I turn to the Gentiles ( Act_13:46

6. Paul's plan - Act_26:20

7. Jesus' plan - Act_1:8

Study the text:

1. Jesus says - Let children be filled first (emphasis on FIRST)

2. She thinks - I am not a child (Jew) so I must wait my turn.

3. Proverb - Don't look a gift horse in mouth. Do not muzzle the ox.

4.”sleeping dogs lie.” - I am not calling anyone a dog. Just let them alone.

5. Proverb - Do not feed the dogs first, and children starve. (Priority)

6. She agrees - But when the children eat, if they drop a crumb, can I have it?

7. Results - Because of her faith, her daughter is healed

Verses 36-37


1. Preachers must be a jack-of-all-trades, and master of one (Bible).

2. Must know farming, business, medical, legal, etc.

3. Jesus did all things well - INCLUDING:


1. Joh_1:1-3 - All things were made by him

2. Col_1:17 - In him all things consist

3. Gen_1:31 - Saw everything He had made, it was very good


1. None were partial, over time

2. Total, complete, instantly perfected


1. Sermon on the mount - astonished at his teachings

2. Multitudes

3. Small groups - in homes, with apostles

4. One on one - individual instruction

Answering questions

1. At age 12

2. Around the temple during last week - Mat_21:1-46 ; Mat_22:1-46

3. Mat_22:46 - no one dared ask him any more questions

Dealing with stress

1. Knew when to withdraw

2. Spent the night in prayer

3. Took time off - weddings, feasts, trips out of town

Answering his critics

1. See Mat_21:1-46 ; Mat_22:1-46

2. Before Pilate - Joh_18:36 Kingdom not of this world

Facing adversity (trial, crucifixion, death)

1. Luk_9:51-53 - set his face toward Jerusalem

2. In the garden - watch and pray with me

3. Let's go - they are coming for me

Faithful to God and His mission

1. Joh_17:4 - Done all that you sent me to do

2. Joh_19:30 - it is finished

Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Mark 7". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mlc/mark-7.html. 2021.
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