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The 60: Tradition Unexpected | Mark 2:18-3:6 | Life Unexpected


Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon. This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week. tra·di·tion–noun something that is handed down a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting

Big Idea: What Are You Handing Down?

Are You Handing Down Tradition or Jesus (2:18-20)

Judaism required one fast a year on the Day of Atonement (Lev.16:29-30).

The Pharisees fasted on Monday’s and Thursdays.

Fasting had become in Jesus’ day a prerequisite to…….a sign of religious commitment. If you wanted to be taken seriously spiritually, you fasted.

That’s what usually happens with Traditions. They start out as a good thing, but then become a bad thing because they become more important than Jesus.

Jesus has no complaint with fasting per se, as long as it didn’t compete for attention with Him.

The problem with the Scribes and the Pharisees was that they had passed down their traditions, passed down religion, but NOT passed down a relationship with God.


In the OT the bridegroom of Israel is said to be God Himself. Jesus is not just using a cute analogy, but reminding them that He is God, and that they should enjoy Him, not their traditions. (Is.54:5-6)

It would be just as silly for Jesus’ disciples to stop enjoying Him while He’s here as it would for guests to stop eating at a wedding reception and enjoying their time with the bridegroom.

New Patch / New Wine

Jesus is not an attachment or addition to our religious traditions. He is the tradition. He cannot be held by or contained by our traditions.

The questions posed by the image of the wedding feast and the two atom-like parables is not whether disciples will, like sewing a new patch on an old garment or refilling an old container, make room for Jesus in their already full (religious) agenda’s and lives. The question is whether they will forsake business as usual and join the wedding celebration; whether they will become entirely new receptacles for the expanding fermentation of Jesus and the Gospel in their lives. – James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark; pg.92

Are You Handing Down Tradition or Scripture? (2:23-27)

Keeping the Sabbath was in Scripture, the 4th of the 10 Commandments…….and the one with the longest explanation.

The Sabbath was meant to be a blessing to man, not to be a burden to man.

The Pharisees had taken a good, a Scriptural thing, the Sabbath, and turned it into a bad, purely religious thing, because they couldn’t just enjoy the Sabbath, but made a 39 point checklist on how to do so, distorting it as they did.

The Bible said not to work on the Sabbath, and although the Bible said that you could snitch grain on the Sabbath (Deut.23:25), the Pharisees said you could not, and that that would be considered ‘reaping.’

Jesus knows Deut.23:25, but instead He uses another example, because He knows Scripture so well, from 1 Samuel 21:1-6, that displays the Spirit of the Law (love), not the Letter of the Law (legalism).

Jesus corrects a misinterpretation of Scripture that makes Scripture a burden, not a blessing, which it’s intended to be.

What Jesus is doing is of greater value than what David was doing. Jesus is greater than David, and Jesus’ men are greater than David’s men.

Are You Handing Down Tradition or Love? (3:1-6)

One of the things about Tradition or Religion is that it becomes cold and unloving because it’s not centered on Jesus, who is love, and Scripture, which reveals the love of Jesus.

The only other place in the Gospel of Mark that the grief and anguish of Jesus is expressed more than His grief and anguish over the callousness of the religious leaders attitude toward this man’s suffering is the Garden of Gethsemane (14:34).

Why does Jesus become angry with the religious leaders? Because the Sabbath is about restoring the diminished. It’s about replenishing the drained. It’s about repairing the broken. To heal the man’s shriveled hand is to do exactly what the Sabbath is all about…….Their hearts are as shriveled as the man’s hand. – Tim Keller; Kings Cross; pg.38-39

Has your heart become shriveled because you’re more concerned about your tradition than those who are tragically in need of the love and touch of Jesus?

The greatest enemy to the love of Jesus is not opposition to the love of Jesus from unbelievers, but indifference to the love of Jesus by believers.

Diving In

Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday. Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one. These questions aren't intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks' message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.

  • What would you say are the prerequisites to, signs of, spiritual commitment in the church today? Are there any ways, even subtly, that you find yourself thinking about these things more, or more committed to these things than to Jesus?
  • Have you tried in any way, even unknowingly, to relegate Jesus to your religious activities? What is one example from your own live that proves Jesus can't be contained by your these activities?
  • Who is your favorite teacher, speaker, author, ect? Do you ever find yourself more excited to hear from them than directly from Jesus through Scripture? Are you more apt to listen to a podcast or online audio than to engage Jesus through Scripture? What does this say? What is this saying to the people around you?
  • Do you see any way that your time away from Jesus, however long, and your time out of Scripture, has made you cold or indifferent to the needs of others that need the help of Jesus?

Deep End

The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.

  • First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you.
  • Next, spend some time reading over Mark 2:19. Take a few minutes to even commit this short Scripture to memory.
  • After this, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you any reason you have been lacking joy in your relationship with Jesus or lacking enjoyment of Him. Is there a religious tradition, commitment or practice that you have been putting before Him to some degree or another?
  • Next, ask the Spirit to show you any good, or the good intention behind this tradition or practice. Ask the Spirit to show you how you can redeem the heart of this tradition while never placing it above Jesus or your enjoyment of Him.
  • Last, take a few minutes to pray, declaring to Jesus as many reasons you can think of that you enjoy Him and His presence in your life.


Our digest section is all about helping you to memorize and meditate on God's Word so you'll be able to better digest it. Take some time to commit these short verses to memory this week:

And Jesus said to them, 'Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. - Mark 2:19

My hope is that these simple exercises in The 60 will help what we discovered during this week be distilled, and deepened in your heart and life with Jesus.


For The Elders

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