God's people must be different

Jesus explains how God's rules are different from men's rules


Sue Hunter

This study is one of a series of Studies in Mark's Gospel in EasyEnglish.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.



Mark 7:1-16 (see Mark's Gospel in EasyEnglish)


Jesus obeyed God always. He wanted his *disciples to obey God too. But some people did not understand what Jesus taught. The *Pharisees and the teachers of God's rules thought that they were good people. They thought that they obeyed all God's rules. Also they obeyed many rules that men had made. They thought that one of their rules was very important. People must wash their hands before they ate a meal. So they thought that Jesus was wrong. He did not tell his disciples to wash their hands before a meal. The Pharisees could not understand this.

So they asked Jesus about it. And Jesus answered them. It was very important to obey God's rules. God's rules were more important than the rules that men had made a long time before this. Jesus knew that sometimes the Pharisees obeyed men's rules. This was so that they could refuse to obey God's rules.

Jesus taught that God's people should be different from other people. God's people should not do all the same things that other people do. But they should not follow men's rules because they wanted to be different. They should be careful to obey God always.

The Pharisees did not understand what Jesus taught. And so Jesus explained it again to his disciples.

Questions to ask

V1      What was the important reason that made the Pharisees travel a long way from Jerusalem? Why did the Pharisees want to talk to Jesus?

V2      Why was it important if some people did not wash their hands before every meal?

V3      Who made this rule?

V4      Were these God's rules or men's rules?

V6-7   The Pharisees were doing something that was wrong. What was it?

V10    Jesus spoke about another one of God's rules. What was it?

V11-12 Some people refused to obey this rule. In what way? Why did they think that they were doing right?

V14-15 To whom was Jesus speaking now? What did Jesus want them to understand?

Something to do

Talk about how God's rules are different from men's rules today.

Read about how Jesus explained this lesson to his disciples. (Mark 7:17-23)

Think about the ways that Christians must be different from other people.

Words to explain

Disciple ~ someone who follows a leader and who wants to learn from him. A person who agrees with Jesus. So he does what Jesus teaches.

Pharisees ~ a group of *Jews who thought that they kept all God's rules. They thought that they did not do anything wrong. So they thought that they were very important and clever. Many Pharisees did not like the things that Jesus taught.

Jew ~ a person who is born from the families of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.