SERIES: Jesus, Son of God: Headlines from Mark

TOPIC: Jesus Cleanses our Hearts

TEXT: Mark 7:1-23


  • Talk together about why the Pharisees accused Jesus of breaking tradition. 
  • Why did it matter to them? What was their focus? How did theirs differ from Jesus’ focus?
  • How did Jesus answer them?


  • The key verse in this passage is verse 15, “Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” What did it mean to Jesus’ audience of Pharisees, His disciples and the gathered crowd? What does this mean to us today?
  • The Pharisees were questioning Jesus because the disciples were not obeying the ceremonial hand washing. It was a ritual, a tradition. What rituals or traditions can we confuse with godliness (when it has nothing to do with our hearts)?


  • The Pharisees saw laws and traditions as their badges of holiness. I am “holy because…” But we can do the same. What has been your “badge of holiness” in the past? What about today? 
  • “The Pharisees in this account held to the fine points of Scripture and tradition but had not translated those standards into values. Jesus condemned their superficial devotion to God. We need to be sure we hold to the right standards. But we must also translate those standards into values that guide our personal conduct and relationships with others. “ note from the Leadership Bible. 

Take some time to think about the values that guide your everyday decisions. Do your values line up with those Jesus taught?

“If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live, or what I like to eat, or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully for the thing I want to live for.” 

Thomas Merton

Current Series

He Gets Us

Though Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago, He still knows about the problems you face today. Not only does Jesus know what plagues us as a culture, He gets us. Jesus can relate. He was tempted, too. He was disrespected, too. He was doubted, too. He mourned, too. He suffered, too.

Faith Church is joining other churches in the Chicagoland area for the series, He Gets Us. We’ll explore that Jesus knows about our insecurity, exhaustion, anxiety, guilt, loneliness and grief. Join us for this new series as we find assurance in knowing we aren’t alone in this world. We have a Savior who gets us and cares about what we are feeling.

Weekend Resources