Have you heard the phrase “Controlling the Narrative”?
We hear about in politics. Infamous scandals. It is also a driving theme in Mark. The Gospel of Mark is this continual struggle for control over the narrative of God. (custody battle)
Mark 7:1 “One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.”
- “Come to intimidate Jesus”.
- “Come to shut up Jesus”.
- “Come to interrogate Jesus”.
- “Come to regain control over God.”
5 So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”
6 Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
7 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’
8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”
9 Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition. 10 For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ 11 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 12 In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. 13 And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”
14 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 15 It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”
Inside-Out Faith vs. Outside-In “Faith”
- Who controls Jesus?
- Who controls worship/practice?
- Who controls Scripture?
- “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition.
Example of Outside-In “faith”:
- Pharisees – Jesus compares them to the non-kosher food
Example of Inside-Out faith Jesus gives:
- Gentile Women
- A deaf person unable to speak.
Who are we? Am I inside out or Outside in?
- Do you fight the light?
- Who controls how I worship?
- Religion can be Idol Worship
- Religious words can be taking God’s name in vain
- Do you read the meaning into the Scripture, or does the Scripture read meaning into you?
The truth will ultimately control the narrative.
Luke 8:17 all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.
John 8:31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.