The Ministry to Seafarers (M2S)

Mark 7 Conversation Starter

Thank you for joining us in listening to Mark 7! If you haven't listened to it yet, you can do so here. Access a written copy of Mark 7 in the NLT here.

We would love to hear your thoughts on this passage of scripture. Below are some questions that made us think. Feel free to answer one or all of them! You can also comment with any other questions or thoughts about the chapter.

Discussion Questions

1. In this passage, Jesus' disciples were criticized by some religious leaders from Jerusalem because they did not practice the Jewish religious tradition of ceremonial hand washing. Jesus called the religious teachers hypocrites— their worship was an act. They ignored God's law and substituted their own tradition. 
- Which person/group in this passage do you think you are most like—why?

- How should we think about religious traditions? How should we think about God's commands?

- Jesus said the religious leaders' hearts were, as Isaiah prophesied, far from God...even though they were honoring God with their words. How might God be calling you to draw near to Him with your whole heart? Why is it sometimes difficult to be honest with others about what is really going on in our personal relationship with God?
2. After talking to the leaders, Jesus turns to the crowd and his disciples. Jesus explains that it is not what goes into your body that makes you defiled (unclean, dirty) but what comes from your heart
- Either imagine or draw a picture of your heart—ask God to help you see what is inside your heart (the good and bad). Jesus lists some of the bad things that can be in our hearts: evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.
If you have accepted Christ, God doesn't remove your old heart. But your sinful nature is offset because Christ also lives in your heart! And, the Holy Spirit enables you to be filled with all of the good things of God listed in Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. These can never be destroyed!

- Spend some time sitting with God. What might God want to do in your heart today?  
3. A non-Jewish woman comes to Jesus in Tyre and begs Jesus to heal her daughter, who is possessed by an evil spirit. She has great faith that Jesus can heal her daughter, even though she is not Jewish—and Jesus does!
- Do you believe Jesus can heal you or those you love? Why or why not?
4.  When Jesus goes to Sidon, a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment is brought to Jesus for healing.  The people in this man's community seem to care for him deeply. Like the Gentile woman begged for her daughter's healing, they beg Jesus for this man's healing! 
- Tell about a time someone loved you through prayer.

- How can you love people through prayer? Tell about a time God answered your prayers!
5. Jesus led the man away from the crowd and then healed him in a way that was sensitive to the man's needs.
- How might God want to lead you "away from the crowd" in order to heal you? Has He ever done that before? What was that like?
4. When they saw the man is healed, the crowd was amazed and said, "Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak."
- What do you think about what Jesus has done in your life or the lives of those you love?

- What do you say about Jesus to others—what do you want people in your community to know about Jesus?
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