Adult Uniform Sunday School Lesson for June 17, 2018
To affirm through actions how we can live in the spirit of the Law
Background: Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13
Matthew 15:1-9 (CEB)
1 Then Pharisees and legal experts came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why are your disciples breaking the elders’ rules handed down to us? They don’t ritually purify their hands by washing before they eat.”
3 Jesus replied, “Why do you break the command of God by keeping the rules handed down to you? 4 For God said, Honor your father and your mother, and The person who speaks against father or mother will certainly be put to death. 5 But you say, ‘If you tell your father or mother, “Everything I’m expected to contribute to you I’m giving to God as a gift,” then you don’t have to honor your father.’ 6 So you do away with God’s Law for the sake of the rules that have been handed down to you. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah really knew what he was talking about when he prophesied about you, 8 This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. 9 Their worship of me is empty since they teach instructions that are human rules.”
This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from me. (Matthew 15:8)
Today’s lesson presents an interesting challenge to today’s Church. How do we separate God’s commandments from tradition?
Our text this week is about whose authority are we to follow? The Pharisees took a rule dictated about the priest and applied it to all. Leviticus 22:4-7 4 Any descendant of Aaron who is afflicted with skin disease or has a discharge cannot eat of the holy things until he is clean. Anyone who touches anything made unclean by a dead body, or who has an emission of semen, 5 or who touches any swarming creature or another person who makes him unclean—whatever the uncleanness might be— 6 the person who touches these things will be unclean until evening. He must not eat of the holy things unless he has bathed his body in water. 7 Once the sun has set and he has become clean again, he may eat of the holy things, for that is his food.
Likewise, they had taken the Ten Commandments and made a more convenient law they called “corban.” Deuteronomy 5:16 puts the law concerning honoring parents this way: “Honor your father and your mother, exactly as the Lord your God requires, so that your life will be long and so that things will go well for you on the fertile land that the Lord your God is giving you.” The elders tradition of “corban” said if the children gave the money to the temple they did not have to take care of the parents in their old age. Jesus called this hypocritical.
Today we face similar problems, our seminaries teach that the bible is not necessarily God’s word, we have a cafeteria type approach, that is, we can pick and choose what to believe.
Discerning what is God’s will and what is man’s idea of God’s will requires being in touch with God constantly. God’s commandment is “if you love me , keep my commandments.”
My hymn for this week is “Constantly Abiding” Jesus is mine.