Biblical Text: Mark 7:1-13
Full Sermon Draft
The text is one of those that is actually real easy to apply today, but preaching that sermon to this congregation isn’t matching audiences. I think you have to look a little to correctly apply it. Putting it in doctrinal terms the text is one about the simplicity of scripture or the perspicuity of scripture. What that means is simply that the meaning of scripture is plainly available to those who read it fairly. That doesn’t mean we accept it, just that we can understand what it says. What Jesus gets mad at in the Pharisees is not that they reject it outright, but that they end up putting forward theological arguments and rationalizations that negate the simple word of God. Their higher theology allows them to break the law yet claim they are keeping it. And this is done with the blessing of the institutional form of the religion. The easy marks are in the introduction. To correctly apply though means understanding the simple or catechism word and then looking at how we might deny it.
We had VBS last week, so what I used as the simple Word were the daily slogans from VBS which told the really simple faith – creation, comfort, healing, forgiveness, eternity. And then it mulls these over a little deeper and takes a look at how we, not others but ourselves, might elevate a higher theology against that simple faith. The bottom line is that any higher or deeper theology must be consonant or allow the simple faith. I’ll make a physics analogy, Quantum mechanics must allow for Newtonian Physics. Quantum mechanics can never completely negate Newtonian Physics. We are being Pharisees when we negate portions of the law yet say we aren’t because of complex rationalizations. Like the response line to the simple VBS statements, we Hold On to the simple word.