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Mark 7:1–37

Breaking Human Traditions

7:1 Now1 the Pharisees2 and some of the experts in the law3 who came from Jerusalem4 gathered around him. 7:2 And they saw that some of Jesus’ disciples ate their bread with unclean hands, that is, unwashed. 7:3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing,5 holding fast to the tradition of the elders. 7:4 And when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. They hold fast to many other traditions: the washing of cups, pots, kettles, and dining couches.6)7 7:5 The Pharisees and the experts in the law asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat8 with unwashed hands?” 7:6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,

but their heart9 is far from me.

7:7 They worship me in vain,

teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.’10

7:8 Having no regard11 for the command of God, you hold fast to human tradition.”12 7:9 He also said to them, “You neatly reject the commandment of God in order to set up13 your tradition. 7:10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’14 and, ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death.’15 7:11 But you say that if anyone tells his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you would have received from me is corban16 (that is, a gift for God), 7:12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother. 7:13 Thus you nullify17 the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like this.”

7:14 Then18 he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand. 7:15 There is nothing outside of a person that can defile him by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles him.”19

7:17 Now20 when Jesus21 had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 7:18 He said to them, “Are you so foolish? Don’t you understand that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him? 7:19 For it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and then goes out into the sewer.”22 (This means all foods are clean.)23 7:20 He said, “What comes out of a person defiles him. 7:21 For from within, out of the human heart, come evil ideas, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 7:22 adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, and folly. 7:23 All these evils come from within and defile a person.”

A Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

7:24 After Jesus24 left there, he went to the region of Tyre.25 When he went into a house, he did not want anyone to know, but26 he was not able to escape notice. 7:25 Instead, a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit27 immediately heard about him and came and fell at his feet. 7:26 The woman was a Greek, of Syrophoenician origin. She28 asked him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 7:27 He said to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and to throw it to the dogs.”29 7:28 She answered, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 7:29 Then30 he said to her, “Because you said this, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.” 7:30 She went home and found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Healing a Deaf Mute

7:31 Then31 Jesus32 went out again from the region of Tyre33 and came through Sidon34 to the Sea of Galilee in the region of the Decapolis.35 7:32 They brought to him a deaf man who had difficulty speaking, and they asked him to place his hands on him. 7:33 After Jesus36 took him aside privately, away from the crowd, he put his fingers in the man’s37 ears, and after spitting, he touched his tongue.38 7:34 Then39 he looked up to heaven and said with a sigh, “Ephphatha” (that is, “Be opened”).40 7:35 And immediately the man’s41 ears were opened, his tongue loosened, and he spoke plainly. 7:36 Jesus ordered them not to tell anything. But as much as he ordered them not to do this, they proclaimed it all the more.42 7:37 People were completely astounded and said, “He has done everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

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