Mark 7: 1-23

13th February 2011 Off By Derek Buckthorpe


1: A group of Pharisees, with some Scribes who had come from Jerusalem, met Him,

2: and noticed that some of His disciples were eating their food with defiled hands – in other words without washing them.

3: [For Pharisees and Jews in general never eat without washing their hands, in obedience to ancient tradition:

4: and on coming up from the market place they never eat without first washing. And there are many other points on which they maintain traditional rules, for example in the washing of cups and jugs and copper bowls.]

5: These Pharisees and Scribes questioned Jesus: “Why do your disciples not conform to the ancient tradition, but eat their food with defiled hands?

6: He answered, “How right Isaiah was when he prophesised about you hypocrites in these words: “This people pays me lip-service, but their heart is far from me:

7: they worship me in vain, for they teach as doctrines the commandments of men.”

8: You neglect the commandment of God, in order to maintain the tradition of men.”

9: He said to them, “How clever you are at setting aside the commandment of God in order to maintain your tradition!

10: Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother”, and again “whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death.”

11: But you hold that if someone says to his father or mother, “Anything I have which might have been used for your benefit is Corban,” (that is, set apart for God)

12: ‘he is no longer allowed to do anything for his father or mother.

13: In this way by your tradition, handed down among you, you make God’s word null and void. And you do many other things like that.

14: On another occasion He called the people and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand this:

15: nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him: no it is the things that come out of a person that defile him.’

16: (if you have ears, then hear!)

17: When He had left the people and gone indoors, His disciples questioned Him about the parable.

18: He said to them, “Are you as dull as the rest? Do you not see that nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him,

19: because it does not go into the heart but into the stomach, and so goes out into the drain? By saying this He declared all food clean.

20: He went on. “It is what comes out of a person that defiles him.

21: From inside, from the human heart, come evil thoughts, acts of fornication, theft, murder,

22: adultery, greed and malice; fraud, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance and folly,

23: all these evil things come from within, and they are what defile a person.”