Day 4: Controversies Continue (Mark 2:18-3:6)

Discussion Questions

(1) What are some examples of following rules whilst lacking love for our neighbor?

(2) On pp. 17-18, Pastor Cook discusses how both Pharisees and we are guilty of elevating preferences or oral traditions to the level of Scripture. What issues or traditions do we elevate on par with Scripture?

(3) How can we change Pharisaical thinking into thinking with the compassion of Jesus?

(4) How do we serve those who are like the Pharisees in our church?

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17 replies
  1. Pauline Eldridge
    Pauline Eldridge says:

    I think that when I become focused on tasks rather than people, I become like the Pharisees. Yes, work needs to get done, but sometimes I need to be more willing to let the Holy Spirit interrupt my plans for the day.

    Reply
  2. Beckham Eldridge
    Beckham Eldridge says:

    Today I was struck by the conflict of healing the man with a withered hand. In Mark 3:4, Jesus asks “…’Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?’ ” I thought, “How is not healing the man the same as killing him?” Jesus obviously thought it was the same. On deeper reflection, to not take care of the needs of others when it is within my power is doing harm to them. Furthermore, not sharing Jesus with others (as I too often fail to do) is the same as killing them. May the Lord forgive me and give me the strength to do better.

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  3. Nick Romero
    Nick Romero says:

    As I was reading the passage and book section for the day, I thought of how easy it is for me to criticize those who are “not like me.” By that I am not simply talking about skin color, but more seemingly visible things like outward appearance and attire.I have definitely been guilty of giving the slant eye toward those not in their “Sunday’s best” at church. I can definitely be challenged more to love by fellow Christians when they don’t look like me or come from my kind of background. If there is some sort of online or booklet directory, I would love to start praying through my church directory to begin instilling a love for each individual member of my church, as well as to have their names in mind all week.

    Reply
  4. Cole McCollum
    Cole McCollum says:

    In regards to 3): On page 9 (chapter 2) and in reference to Jesus’ healing of a man with leprosy, Pastor Cook writes, “Jesus did not have to touch the man to heal him, but his touch demonstrated his compassion toward him. The man had probably not felt a human touch in along time.” A keen insight. How sweet it is, the compassion of our Savior. Perhaps one way we can begin the renewal of our minds in this arena is personally sensing – for the first time, or afresh – the compassionate touch of our Savior. Letting Him wash MY feet, so to speak…that takes incredible humility – chiefly on the side of my Lord, but also on my own…for it’s a rather uncomfortable thing, to let my defenses down. Additionally, I think action – real world, actual works of service toward the people around me – will bring my thoughts and emotions along faster than simply “thinking” about the compassion of Jesus. The physical act of touching someone else – connecting with someone else on a personal level, and in service of their holistic good – helps appropriate the mind of Christ. I might not “feel like it,” but as James writes, “The one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed IN HIS DOING” (1:25).

    Reply
    • Gabriel A Hinerman
      Gabriel A Hinerman says:

      Excellent thoughts. Your post brought to mind a story Pastor Cook shared recently in a sermon about seeking to be more humble by picking up trash on his college campus.

      Reply
  5. Rose Booth
    Rose Booth says:

    Often I look at Pharisees in a negative light but realize how similar I can be. Traditions not grounded in Scripture can cloud the truth. I think of the story of a woman who asked her Mom why she cut the end off the roast before she put it in the oven. She said her Mom always did that. But when the woman asked her Grandmother why she did it, she said “because my pot was too small” Jesus makes all things new and we need to filter everything we do through Scripture.

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  6. Michael Knight
    Michael Knight says:

    Many times pharisaical thinking stems from a desire to help yet it ends up in judgment and criticism. I have found in my life that the best way of fighting that mindset is reminding ourselves that only God changes man. We need to be more prayerful and loving as we guide others to Christ as the reason and desire for change, not just because we want it or “morality” calls for it. It is in the love of Christ that we see change; thus, it is by the love of Christ where we can assist others to make that change. Condemnation and critical assessments do not change man; it only chastises him into man-based rules.

    Therefore, I find praying and passionately loving people as we point to Christ is the only way pharisaical mindsets are avoiding or broken. Such a convicting and powerful chapter.

    Reply
  7. Phil and Terri
    Phil and Terri says:

    On page 16, paragraph 2 we loved the statement, “ Jesus brings a newness that cannot be confined within the old forms of religion .” We discussed when we first became Believers , we couldn’t find a way to make our “old” lives fit into the newness of our new beliefs. As the years have passed, we question if we – little by little – try to put old wine in new skins again. We both were struck by the twin parables.

    Reply
    • Brandon Pisacrita
      Brandon Pisacrita says:

      That statement resonated with me as well, Phil and Terri! Thanks for sharing!
      I think to becoming a new Christian, and many things did not match what Jesus taught; Jesus is better, and more fulfilling than anything this world has to offer.

      Reply
    • Pauline Eldridge
      Pauline Eldridge says:

      That statement stood out to me as well. How many want to have their old life and add a little Jesus to make themselves feel better? But when Jesus really enters a life, the old is truly shattered and remade into something brand new.

      Reply

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