Verse 1 – Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem.
Verse 2 – Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.
Verse 3 – For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.
Verse 4 – When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
Mark mentions this ceremonial washing of the hands, because he was writing to a non-Jewish audience. This was not merely washing before eating. The Pharisees had made a ritual of washing the hands and arms into a traditional ceremony. Because Jesus disciples followed a religious leader, Jesus, the Pharisees thought they should follow these strict rules for washing.
Verse 5 – Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
Here is what amazes me: Before this took place, Jesus had fed 5,000 with hardly anything to start with, and then comes to this town and heals all their sick, and now these morons, yes I said morons, only see that the disciples didn’t follow “their tradition in the washing of their hands.” They gag at a gnat and swallow a camel!” No tradition overrides what’s in the heart!
Verse 6 – He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
Verse 7 – And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
Hypocrisy is pretending to be something you are not and having no intention of being. The Pharisees did not worship out of love for God, but out of a desire to appear holy which gave them status. Worship comes out of love and adoration for who God is. Praise comes from what He has done and will do for you! The Pharisees did neither.
Verse 8 – “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold tradition of men – the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other things you do.
Verse 9 – And He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
The pharisees had made their own traditions more important than God’s law.
Verse 10 – “For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’
Verse 11 – “But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban (that is, dedicated to the temple)”;
In other words: The Pharisees had made a rule that said instead of what is intended to take care of the needs to parents, give it to the temple and you won’t be put to death.
Verse 12 – “And you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother,
Verse 13 – “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
Jesus teachings on mans traditions are very clear. Can you think of traditions, rituals, or ceremonies, in your church that are not Biblical?
Verse 14 – And when He had called all multitude to Him, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand:
Verse 15 – “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.
This is the heart of Jesus teachings. A person is defiled by what comes out of their mouth, not by what is taken in!
Verse 16 – “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Verse 17 – And when He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable.
Verse 18 – So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him,
Verse 19 – “because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”
The Jews believed they could be clean before God by what they did not eat. But Jesus pointed out that sin begins with attitudes and intentions of the inner person. We are not made pure because of outward actions – we become pure on the inside as Christ renews our minds, and transforms us into His image, through His Word and right actions will follow.
Verse 20 – And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.
Verse 21 – “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders,
Verse 22 – “thief’s, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.
Verse 23 – All of these evil things come from within and defiles a man.
An evil action begins with a single thought. Allowing our mind to dwell on any of these, will lead to sin. Where your mind goes, there your body will go also!
Verse 24 – And from there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden.
Jesus traveled about 30 miles north of Israel. These were port cities that were flourishing and were also Gentile people.
Verse 25 – For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.
Verse 26 – The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
This woman was called a Canaanite in Matthew. Matthew refers to her religion also that she’s a Gentile, while Mark refers to her political background and where she is from. Matthew’s description was designed for his Jewish audience, who remembered the Canaanites as bitter enemies when Israel was settling in the Promise Land. Either description showed that this poor woman had no favor with the Jews.
Verse 27 – But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”
Verse 28 – And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.
This woman didn’t argue with Jesus, but simply stated she would consider this interruption in order for her daughter to be healed.
Many Jews would lose God’s healing because they rejected Jesus, but some of the Gentiles would receive healing because they didn’t reject Jesus. She refused to give up.
Verse 29 – Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”
No hindrance was going to stop this woman, not even having to ask Jesus again and again. Have you ever given up too soon?
Verse 30 – And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.
Verse 31 – And again, departing from he region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee.
Let me point something out: It seems as though Jesus went to Tyre and Sidon for that divine appointment with that woman. It’s not strange, even though we might think so at the time, when God places you in a place that makes no sense. When we pray for the Lord to “order our steps,” then just follow where the Spirit leads you.
Verse 32 – Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him.
Verse 33 – And He took him aside form the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue.
Verse 34 – Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
Verse 35 – Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed and he spoke plainly.
Verse 36 – Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.
There was a very good reason for Jesus wanting them to keep quiet about this miracle; He didn’t want people coming to Him for just the miracles. Later on in Hebrews 2:12, we are told to declare His name to others and in the midst of the congregation, sing praises to Him. So yes, I believe we are to tell others of the things God has done for us.
Verse 37 – And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.