Summary: Being imprisoned by tradition can cause you to miss what is important.

The Danger of Tradition

The Book of Mark

Mark 6:53-7:13

I. Introduction:

A. What we have done here today is a tradition in most churches.

B. Tradition plays a big role in our families and our lives as well as our churches.

C. A tradition by definition is something that is passed from one generation of people to another to commemorate something or to remind them of a belief or practice.

D. We all have traditions in our families.

1. Holiday traditions.

a) Christmas

b) Thanksgiving

c) The 4th of July

2. When I was a kid every Wed. night was spaghetti night.

3. Catholics had fish every Friday.

E. There are some traditions that we observe and we don’t even remember why we do them.

1. Tevye the main character in The Fiddler on the Roof gives this take on tradition. “A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask 'Why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous?' Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition! Because of our traditions, we've kept our balance for many, many years. Here in Anatevka, we have traditions for everything... How to sleep, how to eat... how to work... how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered, and always wear a little prayer shawl that shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask, "How did this tradition get started?" I'll tell you! [pause] I don't know. But it's a tradition... and because of our traditions... Every one of us knows who he is and what God expects him to do.

2. That is how many of the traditions we observe today have come to be.

3. We don’t know exactly why we follow them but hey, it’s a tradition.

F. Traditions are not bad in and of them selves.

G. Actually the bible has much to say about them.

1. The OT

a) The traditions in the Law.

b) The tradition of setting up pillars of stones etc to remind the Israelites about what God had done for them.

2. The NT.

a) 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our letter.

b) 2 Thessalonians 3:6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.

3. Jesus even observed traditions.

a) His family presented Him in the Temple after His birth.

b) Luke 4:16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

c) Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

H. Traditions have their greatest value when they remind us of or point us to God and His plan for our lives.

I. Traditions become a problem when they are used the wrong way or they become so familiar that they no longer teach us anything.

J. That brings us to our passage this morning Mk.6:53.

1. There is a tremendous contrast between the last few verses of chapter 6 and the first few of chapter 7.

a) On the one hand we observe the great power and popularity of Jesus at this time 6:53-56.

b) On the other we see the Pharisees and scribes mounting yet another attack.

2. These men could not understand or tolerate the Man who was doing so much good and yet at the same time tearing down the religious prison which these men had built for themselves and others.

3. The prison of tradition is a terrible place to end up.

4. Sad to say that many people today are imprisoned by traditions that they don’t even understand. Just like Teyve.

II.Being imprisoned by tradition can cause one to miss what is important 6:53-56.

A. Multitudes of people were being healed.

1. The people were witnessing the power of God among them.

2. They were rejoicing.

B. All that the Pharisees saw was that the disciples failed to follow tradition before they ate 7:1-5.

C. Verse 2-3 explains the problem.

1. You might say that that is just good hygiene, our mothers used to tell us that all the time.

2. But notice in vs.3 it wasn’t just plain old washing they had to wash them in a special way.

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