Be holy

• Sermon for 08.22.21
• Text: Mark 7:1-13

• Theme: “Be holy”
• Sermon for 08.22.21 (Pentecost 13)
Text: Mark 7:1-13
Theme: Be holy

• In the Name of the Father…Amen.
• The Gospel lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
• Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
• Lord, cleanse us each day from our sins of thought, word, and deed.
• We thank You that Jesus was made a fragrant, sacrificial offering for us.
• Amen.
• Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father through our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
• Introduction
• Think of one of the first traditions you can remember that you and your
family took part in.
• One of the first traditions my family and I enjoyed was when Mom made her
homemade Christmas cookies.
• There were at a half dozen kinds she would make:
• Ice Box (her mom’s recipe)
• Honey with almond (her mother in-law’s recipe)
• Butter (with sprinkles)
• M and M (my personal favorite)
• Chocolate chip (my second favorite)
• Sugar with a Hershey kiss in the middle.

• When Mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2004 and died a couple of
months later, there was now a “new normal”: Christmas would never be the
same for Dad and the rest of our family.
• What happened to my family was the loss of what we considered “tradition.”
• And there was no way we could go back to the way things were.
• Mom was gone!
• The way in which she made those treats was gone with her!

• The Pharisees and scribes had no problem living in the past with their
• In fact, they wanted to stay there!
• Then here comes this Jesus with a message, a message of holiness.

• The reason for the message verses 1-5
• Jesus and the disciples were not holding to “tradition”
• A “tradition” that included the following:
• Washing one’s hands.
• Washing of cups and pots.
• Washing of copper vessels and dining couches.
• Now is it wrong to want to be clean, whether it is you or the things you
are using?
• No, of course not!
• This “cleaning” was not a matter of hygiene for the Pharisees, but it was
a matter of tradition.

• The Pharisees and scribes expected and in fact demanded that Jesus and
the disciples follow their ritual traditions.
• Why?
• Because of tradition!
• Because of their desire to keep tradition.
• In order to be seen as perfect on the outside and receive the praise of
• Jesus in turn brings them a stern rebuke.
• II. The rebuke in the message verses 6-13
• The prophecy verses 6-7
• What the Pharisees say with their mouths does not match what is in their
• Jesus quotes Isaiah 29:13 for all to hear:
The Lord says, “These people worship me with their mouths and honor me with
their lips. But their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is
based on rules made by humans.
• Jesus calls this out for what it is:
• Hypocrisy!
• Wearing a mask (not showing one’s true identity)
• Giving lip service
• Hearts filled with disobedience

B. The parental example verses 8-13
• The Pharisees twist God’s Law to suit their own desires.
• Those in power do have certain privileges!
• Rules for thee but not for me.
• Practicing what you preach is not necessary.
• Human tradition is much more important than what God says in His Word.
• Jesus gives a perfect picture of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees:
• Giving a special offering to God (corban: a consecrated present) in order
to make one look good before men.
• Giving this gift to God was more important than helping one’s parents,
whether they were elderly or not.
• Break the 4th Commandment or look good before men? Choices!

• Their piety is no piety at all!
• It is an attempt at serving self and no more than a sham.
• Guess what? This “piety” does not please God!
C. What are people to do instead?
• Trust Christ!
• We are declared holy before God when we trust in Christ for salvation.
• Love God, love one another without counting the cost!
• We love and are holy because God is holy and He is love.
• Confess who God is and what He has done through your words and actions!
• Holy faith ought to lead to holy living.
• III. Points of application
• Do not worship the Lord for the wrong reasons:
• In order to enhance your reputation before men at the expense of your
character before God.
• Demanding to follow certain traditions and that others do the same but
your heart is far from the Lord.
• Emphasizing that we are “good people” since we follow these traditions
and look down on others who do not follow them.
• Traditions are not as important as God’s Word!
• Shame on us for saying that traditions must be followed before we listen
to God and His Word!
• Never use God as an excuse to neglect our responsibilities.
• Helping others in need, whether church members or not, inside and/or
outside the church honors the Lord.

• Conclusion
• Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for being overly concerned with man-made
observances while failing to fulfill God’s Commandments.
• Such hypocrisy still abounds, as most people worry more about human
opinions than what God thinks.
• Given our own failures in this regard, it is a good thing that the Lord
not only commands in His Word, but also graciously forgives and promises
• Jesus is dealing with questions of Law when He criticizes placing
man-made traditions above God’s Commandments.
• God’s Law and Gospel dare never be subordinated to human teachings and
• Jesus came to fulfill every aspect of the Law, that He might be our
perfect Savior. Amen.
• Let us pray:
• Lord Jesus Christ, keep us faithful to Your Word, which is a lamp to our
feet and a light to our path (Ps 119: 105). Amen.

• 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of
God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

• The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and
minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.

• In the Name of the Father…Amen.