Our Next Guest Is: The Pharisees.

Series: Our Next Guest | Week 2: A Journey Through the Gospel of Mark

This summer, during “Our Next Guest” series, the Daily Bible Readings will take you on a journey through the book of Mark. We’ll take an in-depth look at the life of Jesus, introducing you to all of the different guests, themes, and spiritual disciplines Jesus interacted with and practiced throughout the book. Our hope and prayer is that you’ll meet Jesus in new and fresh ways as we journey together through the Gospel according to Mark. 

Day Three Mark 2:18-3:6

18 Once when John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, some people came to Jesus and asked, “Why don’t your disciples fast like John’s disciples and the Pharisees do?”

19 Jesus replied, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can’t fast while the groom is with them. 20 But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.

21 “Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth? For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.

22 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”

23 One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples began breaking off heads of grain to eat. 24 But the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look, why are they breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?”

25 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 26 He went into the house of God (during the days when Abiathar was high priest) and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. He also gave some to his companions.”

27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”

1 Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. 2 Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.

3 Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” 4 Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.

5 He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 6 At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.
Mark 2:18-3:6 (NLT)

1. What are the Pharisees trying to do with Jesus in each of these three stories?
2. How does Jesus respond to them each time?
3. What does verse 3:5 reveal about the heart of Jesus?

This is not the first time Mark has introduced us to the Pharisees, but he does give us a better picture of them and their hearts in these three back-to-back stories. By 3:1 and 3:4, the Pharisees have become Jesus’ enemies and critics, eventually even plotting to kill Him by 3:6! But Jesus never stopped trying to reach them. Do you have anyone in your life that you’ve stopped praying for or trying to reach for Jesus out of frustration? Spend some time now praying for them and praying for your own heart toward them. Pray that your heart would be saddened as Jesus’ was and for the perseverance to never give up on them.

For Further Reading: Was Jesus Unloving Toward the Pharisees?

For Families with Kids at Home
The Pharisees were more concerned with obeying religious rules than cultivating a relationship with God. Explain to your kids that following Jesus is not about getting all the rules right, but it’s about becoming better friends with Him, because He wants to help us do the right thing and be more like Him!

*TPCC does not necessarily endorse all For Further Reading/Learning sources. They are simply meant to be a helpful tool.

Our Next Guest