Motives Matter

Posted by Melissa

IN TODAY’S VERSE, Jesus makes a big shift on His audience. They were used to the Law, but Jesus started talking about motives. The Pharisees were trying to do all the right things, but their motives were selfish and self-seeking. It’s not just our external behavior that matters, but what’s going on in our heart.

Read Mark 7:10-16 and check out what Jesus said in verse 16.
Have you ever done the right thing for the wrong reason?
Does that honor God? Why or why not?
What does today’s passage teach you about that?
How do we break God’s laws to follow tradition?
Does society pressure you to accept behavior that is wrong?
What should you do in that situation?

The Pharisees valued being right and making sure everyone obeyed. Jesus finished His teaching with a simple statement—if you have ears, you should listen. Everyone has ears, but not everyone listens. We can focus so much on what we think we should be doing that we never stop to listen to what Jesus says to do. Jesus desires a relationship with us. And out of that relationship flows obedience to His commands. When we spend time in His Word and prayer, we will be more like Him. Legalism comes out of pride and selfishness. When we read the Bible and apply it to everyone else, we have missed the point. When we apply it to our lives, we’ll find the great things God has in store.

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