Mark 7a Notes

Mark7a (vs1-23)                              Notes



1 Now when the Pharisees gathered to Him with some of the   scribes who had come from Jerusalem


2nd embassage of leading class sent to examine   Jesus / previous visit determined Him unorthodox / this with intent to fix specific   charges against Him


2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that   were defiled, that is unwashed


watched to scrutinize the habits of followers / failure to   observe ceremonial washings make them common


3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless   they wash their hands, holding to the tradition of the elders,


Mark's lengthy comments on background of this tradition   follows:                     Note1


4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat   unless they wash.


Especially important to remove contamination of   unbelieving world.  Note2


And there are many other traditions that they observe,


Not alone in their customs, but many others like this.                                               Note3


such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels   and dining couches.)


All things in a holy person's life must be cleansed.                                             Note4


5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why do   your disciples not walking according to the tradition of the elders, but eat   with defiled hands?"


Their Q admits to source of the practice: elder's advice handed   down / may be written, but still oral law / who says they are unclean?


6 And He said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you   hypocrites, as it is written,


Praising accuracy of the prophet -- and making direct   application. / pointed description of His accusers: "You Pretenders!"


"This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is   far from me;


Verbal praise w/o inner dedication. Coming near in words,   but remaining distant in heart.


7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the   commandments of men."


Service made worthless by claiming their man-made doctrine   is My Word.  Note5&6


8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the   tradition of men."


Reality finds these two sources mutually exclusive. /   Cannot preserve Divine truth while human teaching is respected. Note


9 And He said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting   the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!


Jesus does NOT support the validity of oral law or the   Mishna. / In fact, He flatly condemns it as rejecting Divine Law.


10 For Moses said, "Honor you father and your mother;"


An example from their advice: The Law as Moses gave this   rule: (Ex20.12)...


and "Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die."


and this penalty: (Ex21.17)...


11 But, you say, "If a men tells his father or his mother,   'Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban' (that is, given to God)


Which rabbis' teaching circumvents. Resources 'dedicated'   to God are removed / Devoted goods are exempt from the family budget.


12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his   father or mother,


Compelled to make this ruling on priority of duties, they   prevent family support.


13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that   you have handed down.


Invalidate the divine way by tradition.


And many such things you do."


This example could be multiplied many times over.


14 And He called the people to Him again and said to them,


His teaching of the common folk not hijacked by leaders' interference.


"Hear me, all of you, and understand.


A word to the wise -- IF you will listen. A warning to pay   attention -- for your own good.


15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into   him can defile him,


Absolute rule of cleanness: No foods defile us.                                                        Note7


but the things that come out of a person are what defile   him."


What exits a person makes him unclean (or not). A person   is known by his fruit.


17 And when He entered the house and left the people,


Still frequenting Peter's place. At leaset some recluse   and privacy -- with the 12.


His disciples asked Him about the parable.


Good to have time to explain to them. But, what story had   Jesus just told?


18 And He said to them, "Then are you also without   understanding?


Reproved: are you like the others, dull of mind, blind to   truth, in unbelief?


Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from the   outside cannot defile him,


The real man (inside) cannot be contaminated by food. Note


19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach and is   expelled?


Food merely passes through us! In one end and out the   other.


(Thus he declared all foods clean.)


Mark's comment: With these words Jesus pronounces all   foods acceptable to God.


20 And He said, "What comes out of a person is what   defiles him.


What is the genesis of sin? See James1.14,15.                                 Note8&9


21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil   thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,


The progression starts inside: lust > decision >   pursuit > sin > corruption.


22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy,   slander, pride, foolishness.


Even so called 'lesser' sins are an expression of evil   desire.


23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile   a person."


The produce, outgo, results of a life speak for the   quality of that life.



Note1: Legal mandate for priests to wash (Ex30.19 / 40.12). Intent to be pure may prompt to wash routinely. See Psa24.3,4.


Note 2: Manner of washing: 1.5 egg shells of water -- poured over the fingers to run down to the wrist -- scrubbing each palm with the opposing fist -- pouring over the hands from the wrist to run off the fingers.


Note3: High esteem for the Mishna: "He who expounds the Scripture in opposition to the tradition has no share in the world to come." (Rabbi Eleazar)

Note4: Specifically, "He sinneth as much who eateth with unwashen hands, as he that lieth with an harlot." (Rabbi Jose)

One rabbi, imprisoned by Romans, used his ration water for cleansing and nearly died of thirst -- considered a hero.


Note5: "Their worship is a farce, for they claim God commands the people to obey their petty rules." (LIV)


Note6: How often do we preface a statement in religious conversation -- which ought to be a discussion of Scripture -- with the phrase: "Well, I think...?" Realizing that we are admitting simple opinion might make us forego the statement altogether.


Note7: In light of most Judaic custom, this may be the most revolutionary statement of the New Testament. (Barclay)


Note8: There ARE things that enter in and taint us. Like computer programming: "Junk in; Junk out." The world influences, even programs, our minds by many subtle devises. What comes out has first 'gone in' the heart.


Note9: The Lord is here speaking of externalism, rituals and ceremony. A man is clean from the inside out. Ceremony does not make clean what is rotten in the heart.



notes by David Teel Friday, May 09, 2014