Mark 7

1 The Pharisees and some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus.
2 They saw that some of his disciples were unclean because they ate without washing their hands.
3 (The Pharisees, like all other Jewish people, don't eat unless they have properly washed their hands. They follow the traditions of their ancestors.
4 When they come from the marketplace, they don't eat unless they have washed first. They have been taught to follow many other rules. For example, they must also wash their cups, jars, brass pots, and dinner tables. )
5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples follow the traditions taught by our ancestors? They are unclean because they don't wash their hands before they eat!"
6 Jesus told them, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites in Scripture: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
7 Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans.'
8 "You abandon the commandments of God to follow human traditions."
9 He added, "You have no trouble rejecting the commandments of God in order to keep your own traditions!
10 For example, Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother' and 'Whoever curses father or mother must be put to death.'
11 But you say, 'If a person tells his father or mother that whatever he might have used to help them is corban (that is, an offering to God),
12 he no longer has to do anything for his father or mother.'
13 Because of your traditions you have destroyed the authority of God's word. And you do many other things like that."
14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and try to understand!
15 Nothing that goes into a person from the outside can make him unclean. It's what comes out of a person that makes him unclean.
16 Let the person who has ears listen!"
17 When he had left the people and gone home, his disciples asked him about this illustration.
18 Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand? Don't you know that whatever goes into a person from the outside can't make him unclean?
19 It doesn't go into his thoughts but into his stomach and then into a toilet." (By saying this, Jesus declared all foods acceptable.)
20 He continued, "It's what comes out of a person that makes him unclean.
21 Evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder,
22 adultery, greed, wickedness, cheating, shameless lust, envy, cursing, arrogance, and foolishness come from within a person.
23 All these evils come from within and make a person unclean."
24 Jesus left that place and went to the territory of Tyre. He didn't want anyone to know that he was staying in a house there. However, it couldn't be kept a secret.
25 A woman whose little daughter had an evil spirit heard about Jesus. She went to him and bowed down.
26 The woman happened to be Greek, born in Phoenicia in Syria. She asked him to force the demon out of her daughter.
27 Jesus said to her, "First, let the children eat all they want. It's not right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs."
28 She answered him, "Lord, even the dogs under the table eat some of the children's scraps."
29 Jesus said to her, "Because you have said this, go! The demon has left your daughter."
30 The woman went home and found the little child lying on her bed, and the demon was gone.
31 Jesus then left the neighborhood of Tyre. He went through Sidon and the territory of the Ten Cities to the Sea of Galilee.
32 Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and who also had a speech defect. They begged Jesus to lay his hand on him.
33 Jesus took him away from the crowd to be alone with him. He put his fingers into the man's ears, and after spitting, he touched the man's tongue.
34 Then he looked up to heaven, sighed, and said to the man, "Ephphatha!" which means, "Be opened!"
35 At once the man could hear and talk normally.
36 Jesus ordered the people not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them, the more they spread the news.
37 Jesus completely amazed the people. They said, "He has done everything well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute talk."

Mark 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

The traditions of the elders. (1-13) What defiles the man. (14-23) The woman of Canaan's daughter cured. (24-30) Christ restores a man to hearing and speech. (31-37)

Verses 1-13 One great design of Christ's coming was, to set aside the ceremonial law; and to make way for this, he rejects the ceremonies men added to the law of God's making. Those clean hands and that pure heart which Christ bestows on his disciples, and requires of them, are very different from the outward and superstitious forms of Pharisees of every age. Jesus reproves them for rejecting the commandment of God. It is clear that it is the duty of children, if their parents are poor, to relieve them as far as they are able; and if children deserve to die that curse their parents, much more those that starve them. But if a man conformed to the traditions of the Pharisees, they found a device to free him from the claim of this duty.

Verses 14-23 Our wicked thoughts and affections, words and actions, defile us, and these only. As a corrupt fountain sends forth corrupt streams, so does a corrupt heart send forth corrupt reasonings, corrupt appetites and passions, and all the wicked words and actions that come from them. A spiritual understanding of the law of God, and a sense of the evil of sin, will cause a man to seek for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to keep down the evil thoughts and affections that work within.

Verses 24-30 Christ never put any from him that fell at his feet, which a poor trembling soul may do. As she was a good woman, so a good mother. This sent her to Christ. His saying, Let the children first be filled, shows that there was mercy for the Gentiles, and not far off. She spoke, not as making light of the mercy, but magnifying the abundance of miraculous cures among the Jews, in comparison with which a single cure was but as a crumb. Thus, while proud Pharisees are left by the blessed Saviour, he manifests his compassion to poor humbled sinners, who look to him for children's bread. He still goes about to seek and save the lost.

Verses 31-37 Here is a cure of one that was deaf and dumb. Those who brought this poor man to Christ, besought him to observe the case, and put forth his power. Our Lord used more outward actions in the doing of this cure than usual. These were only signs of Christ's power to cure the man, to encourage his faith, and theirs that brought him. Though we find great variety in the cases and manner of relief of those who applied to Christ, yet all obtained the relief they sought. Thus it still is in the great concerns of our souls.

Mark 7 Commentaries