Mark 7

Followers of Tradition

1 1The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come 2from Jerusalem,
2 and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with 3impure hands, that is, unwashed.
3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless * they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the 4traditions of the elders;
4 and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless * they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of 5cups and pitchers and copper pots.)
5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why * do Your disciples not walk according to the 6tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with 7impure hands?"
6 And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: '8THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY * FROM ME.
7 '9BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'
8 "Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the 10tradition of men."
9 He was also saying to them, "You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your 11tradition.
10 "For Moses said, '12HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER '; and, '13HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER, IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH ';
11 but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever * I have that would help you is 14Corban (that is to say, given to God),'
12 you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother;
13 thus invalidating the word of God by your 15tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that."

The Heart of Man

14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, "Listen to Me, all of you, and understand:
15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.
16 [ "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."]
17 When he had left the crowd and entered 16the house, 17His disciples questioned Him about the parable.
18 And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot * defile him,
19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated * *?" (Thus He declared 18all foods 19clean.)
20 And He was saying, "20That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.
21 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,
22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, 21envy *, slander, pride and foolishness.
23 "All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."

The Syrophoenician Woman

24 22Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of 23Tyre . And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice.
25 But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet.
26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
27 And He was saying to her, "Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
28 But she answered and said to Him, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children's crumbs."
29 And He said to her, "Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter."
30 And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left.
31 24Again He went out from the region of 25Tyre, and came through Sidon to 26the Sea of Galilee, within * the region of 27Decapolis.
32 They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to 28lay His hand on him.
33 29Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after 30spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva;
34 and looking up to heaven with a deep 31sigh, He said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!"
35 And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.
36 And 32He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they 33continued to proclaim it.
37 They were utterly astonished, saying, "He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."

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.

Cross References 33

  • 1. Mark 7:1-23: {Matthew 15:1-20}
  • 2. Matthew 15:1
  • 3. Matthew 15:2; Mark 7:5; Luke 11:38; Acts 10:14, 28; Acts 11:8; Romans 14:14; Hebrews 10:29; Revelation 21:27
  • 4. Mark 7:5, 8, 9, 13; Galatians 1:14
  • 5. Matthew 23:25
  • 6. Mark 7:3, 8, 9, 13; Galatians 1:14
  • 7. Mark 7:2
  • 8. Isaiah 29:13
  • 9. Isaiah 29:13
  • 10. Mark 7:3, 5, 9, 13; Galatians 1:14
  • 11. Mark 7:3, 5, 8, 13; Galatians 1:14
  • 12. Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16
  • 13. Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9
  • 14. Leviticus 1:2; Matthew 27:6
  • 15. Mark 7:3, 5, 8, 9; Galatians 1:14
  • 16. Mark 2:1; Mark 3:20; Mark 9:28
  • 17. Matthew 15:15
  • 18. Romans 14:1-12; Colossians 2:16
  • 19. Luke 11:41; Acts 10:15; Acts 11:9
  • 20. Matthew 15:18; Mark 7:23
  • 21. Matthew 6:23; Matthew 20:15
  • 22. Mark 7:24-30: {Matthew 15:21-28}
  • 23. Matthew 11:21; Mark 7:31
  • 24. Mark 7:31-37: {Matthew 15:29-31}
  • 25. Matthew 11:21; Mark 7:24
  • 26. Matthew 4:18
  • 27. Matthew 4:25; Mark 5:20
  • 28. Mark 5:23
  • 29. Mark 8:23
  • 30. Mark 8:23
  • 31. Mark 8:12
  • 32. Matthew 8:4
  • 33. Mark 1:45

Footnotes 18

Mark 7 Commentaries