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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel Mark
Theme: Pharisees denounced; Syrophoenician's demon-possessed daughter; deaf and dumb of Decapolis.
This chapter carries out the theme of Mark, which is to clearly show that the Lord Jesus is God's Servant who is rightly doing God's will. Jesus is a Man of action and He is doing things that appeal to anyone who is intent in getting a job done.
The time period between the close of the Old Testament and the opening of the New Testament is the time which many significant changes took place. It was a most eventful period in the history of the nation Israel.
In the time of Israel’s captivity, and also in this period between the Testaments, AFTER they had returned to the Land, there were some new groups and parties that were not mentioned in the Old Testament: Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes and Herodians.
The Pharisees . . . the Pharisees were for the most, middle-class businessmen, so therefore they were in contact with the common people. The Pharisees were held in much higher regard by the common man than were the Sadducees. Even though they were a minority in the Sanhedrin and held a smaller number of positions as priests, they seemed to control the decision making of the Sanhedrin much more than the Sadducees did, because they had the people behind them.
As far as religion, they accepted the written Word as inspired by God. At the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, this would have been what our Old Testament is now. BUT . . . the Pharisees also gave equal authority to their oral tradition and tried to defend this by saying it went all the way back to Moses. But, evolving down through the centuries, these traditions added to God's Word, which is forbidden. (Deut.4:2; 12:32; Josh.1:7; Pro.30:6; Ecc.12:13; Mat.5:18,43; 15:2-9; Mk.7:1-13; Gal.3:15; Rev.22:18-19).But the Pharisees wanted to strictly obey these traditions along with the Old Testament. The Gospels abound with examples of the Pharisees treating these traditions as equal to God's Word (Mat.9:14; 15:1-9; 23:16,23; Mk.7:1-23; Lk.11:42). However, they did remain true to God's Word to other important doctrines. In opposition to the Sadducees, they believed the following:
#1. That God controlled all things, but decisions made by persons also contributed to the course of a person's life.
#2. They believed in the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6).
#3. They believed in an afterlife, with suitable reward and punishment on a person’s life.
#4. They believed in the existence of angels and demons (Acts 23:8).
The Sadducees . . . the Sadducees were aristocrats. They tended to be wealthy and held powerful positions, including that of chief priests and high priest, and they held the majority of the 70 seats of the ruling council called the Sanhedrin. They tried to keep the peace by agreeing with the decisions of Rome, for at this time Israel was under Roman control. They were more concerned with politics than religion. Because they went along with Rome and were the wealthy upper class, they did not communicate well with the common man, neither did the common man have a good opinion of them. The common man got along better with the Pharisees. Although the Sadducees held the most seats in the Sanhedrin, it seems that many times they were forced to go along with the ideas of the Pharisee minority, because the Pharisees were popular with the masses.
On the matter of religion, the Sadducees were more conservative in one main area of doctrine. The Pharisees gave oral tradition equal authority to the written Word of God, while the Sadducees considered ONLY the written Word to be from God. The Sadducees preserved the authority of the written Word of God, especially the books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy.
The following is a brief list of beliefs they held that contradict Scripture:
#1. They were really self-sufficient, and denied God's involvement in everyday life.
#2. They denied any resurrection of the dead (Mat.22:23; Mk.12:18-27; Acts 23:8).
#3. Because they denied the resurrection of the body, they also denied any afterlife, holding fast that the soul perished at death, therefore denying any penalty or reward after the earthly life.
#4. They denied the existence of a spiritual world of angels and demons (Acts 23:8).
Since the Sadducees were more concerned with politics than religion, they were not at all concerned with Christ Jesus UNTIL they feared He might bring unwanted Roman attention. It was then that the Sadducees and Pharisees united and conspired to put Christ to death (Jn.11:48-50; Mk.14:53; 15:1). Sadducees are also mentioned in Acts 4:1; 5:17, and the Sadducees are connected to the death of James by the historian Josephus (Acts 12:1-2).
The Sadducees ceased to exist in A.D. 70. Since this party existed because of their political and priestly ties, when Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in A.D. 70, the Sadducees were also destroyed.
Though the Pharisees were rivals of the Sadducees, they managed to set aside their differences on one occasion . . . the trial of Christ. It was at this point that the Sadducees and Pharisees united to put Christ to death (Mk.14:53; 15:1; Jn.11:48-50).
Both the Pharisees and the Sadducees received numerous rebukes from Jesus. Perhaps the best lesson we can learn from the Pharisees and Sadducees is to not be like them. Unlike the Sadducees, we are to believe everything the Bible says, including the resurrection, the afterlife, and rewards or punishment according to our works. According to works: (Ps.62:12; Pro.24:12,29; Isa.59:18; Jer.21:14; 25:14; 32:19; Lam.3:64; Eze.7:8-9; 18:30; Hos.12:2; Zec.1:6; Mat.16:27; Rom.2:6; 2 Tim.4:14; Rev.2:23; 18:6; 20:12-13; 22:12).
Unlike the Pharisees, we are not to treat traditions as having equal authority as Scripture, and we are not to allow our relationship with God to be reduced to a legalistic list of rules and rituals.
The Herodians . . . the Herodians were a party in the days of Jesus who rose up as political opportunists. They were strictly a party to try to keep Herod on the throne. They did any and all they could to stay on the good side of Herod. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7605-herodians
The Scribes . . . the scribes started out good! Clearly Ezra was a scribe and the founder of that group. They were the professional expounders of the Law. However, by the time of our Lord they had become "hair-splitters" and were more concerned with the letter of the Law than with the spirit of the Law.
The background on these groups will help us better understand what happens.
One of the great problems we have today, is that our legal system and our political system are in a big mess. That is what had happened to religion in our Lord's day.
Opposition of Pharisees and Scribes Denounced (Mark 7:1-13) (Mat.15:1-9)
Mark 7:1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. (KJV)
Then came together unto him the Pharisees . . . Jesus was well-known for His healings and miracles. Having heard that He was come into the land of Gennesaret; they consulted with one another, and gathered around Jesus, to watch and observe what was said and done by Him, looking for any chance to take what advantage of anything they could against Him. These Pharisees were not from here, but were from Jerusalem, as were their companions the Scribes.
And certain of the Scribes, which were of Jerusalem . . . the fame of Jesus had reached the hub of the city of the nation; and these Scribes were the more artful and cunning of the whole sect. They came either came by themselves, or they were sent by the Sanhedrim, to make an opinion upon his doctrine and conduct. (Mat.15:1).
Mark 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. (KJV)
And when they saw some of his disciples . . . as I said, these men were searching for any chance of giving them something against Him, and they really thought they had it! As they watched some of His disciples as they sat down to eat, they took notice that they . . .
Eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen hands, and they found fault . . . the Pharisees thought they had them! They charged them with the breach of the traditions of the elders, and grabbed the chance to argue with Jesus.
By this also they distinguished a Jew from a Gentile; if he washed his hands, and blessed, he was known to be an Israelite, but if not, he was a Gentile (Mat.15:2).
Mark 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. (KJV)
For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not . . . the biggest part of them; except the Sadducees; and especially the Pharisees, were very persistent of this tradition of washing hands before eating. The Pharisees are described as those "that eat their common food with cleanness" of hands. It could be added,
Holding the tradition of the elders . . . the Jews did not pretend the authority of the Scriptures forced them to such rules; for they say, the command concerning washing of hands is, "a command of the wise men". That tradition is this: they wash hands for common food, for that which is holy, and for the sin offering; for if the hands are defiled; the body is defiled. This tradition of the elders, the Scribes, and Pharisees, was strictly observed. WHAT does Jesus say? . . . Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (KJV)
Mark 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. (KJV)
And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not . . . Mark clearly intends to state something that they did after coming from the market, which they did not on ordinary occasions. The difference is very clear in the original. The tradition was an extension of the law of uncleanness, so as to hold a man unclean who had been in the marketplace; and the law for cleansing the unclean required the bathing of the whole flesh in water, which was accomplished by dipping one's self in the bath. If we remember that bathing was a daily practice among the Pharisees, we are less surprised at this observance.
And, many other things there be, which they have received to hold . . . by tradition from their elders;
As the washing of cups and pots, brazen, vessels, and of tables . . . baptism is rightly used in its proper and primary meaning; for all these things were, according to the traditions of the elders, washed by immersion. It was not strange for the Pharisees to wash cups, pots, brazen vessels, and couches; for everyone did this, and everyone does it yet. It is not likely that Jesus reproached them for keeping clean their drinking and cooking vessels . . . it was immersing them when they were already clean, immersing them for an imagined religious purification, for which He condemned them.
Mark 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? (KJV)
Then the Pharisees and Scribes asked him . . . asked Jesus Himself; for their chief view was to find fault, and argue with Him.
Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with unwashen hands? . . . meaning defiled "hands", as in verse 2. The word "common" is often used for that which is unclean or unholy (Acts 10:14,28; Rom.14:14; Heb.10:29), and means unwashed hands. It also may have some regard to the hands of the common people, considered vulgar and illiterate, who showed no regard to this tradition, but ate their common food without washing their hands. Though they might have known from the Scriptures, mainly from (Eze.20:18-19) that it was their duty, as well as the disciples of Christ, to walk, NOT in the statutes of their fathers, nor observe their judgments, the laws and ordinances instituted by them; but to walk in the statutes of the Lord, and to keep His judgments, and do them: not the traditions of men, but the Word of God. This should be the rule of walk and conversation; and as many as walk according to this rule, peace will accompany them; but those that walk according to the commandments of men (Mat.15:9), justly deserve the character given of such by the prophet Isaiah, whose words our Lord produces in the following verses.
Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (KJV)
He answered and said unto them . . . Matthew postpones the following citation and application of the prophecy of Isaiah, to the account of the command of God being broken by the tradition of Corban; which Mark makes the answer of Christ to begin with.
Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, this people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me . . . Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (KJV) . . . Isaiah spoke of the people of Jesus’ day, spoke of the Jews, in terms that apply to the whole people. Jesus properly characterized the nation in calling them hypocrites. The words apply to the nation of Israel at all times, but my friend, they also apply to you and me as well. He did not mean particularly to speak of the nation in the time of Christ; but He spoke of them as having a national character of hypocrisy. A hypocrite is one who play-acts a part; it is a word used for actors on the stage. The Pharisees and scribes were going through a religious ritual (like SO many cults today), without any heart-felt love, respect or reverence to Almighty God whatsoever! The lips and the heart might as well have belonged to two separate persons: the hypocrite and the cold-hearted sinner. There was NO sincere, heart-felt reverence than a chunk of wood or a stone!
Isaiah 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. (KJV) . . . Isaiah speaks very bluntly, not at all gentle.
My friend, there are a lot of people who are just going through ridiculous rituals in churches today. IF the heart is to be involved, it must be genuine and sincere! Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (KJV) . . . Today, people get involved in creeds (a memorized statement of faith), church confessions, public worship and dress. All of this stuff can become tradition and NOT an honest and personal association with the Lord Jesus Christ. John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (KJV) . . . With their ALL! Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (KJV)
Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (KJV)
Howbeit, in vain do they worship me . . . this continues the quotation out of Isaiah, as is also what follows:
Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men . . . all these traditions mentioned were such; as washing their hands before they ate bread, and their whole bodies, when they came from the market, or in public where they had been touched by the common people, and the washing of cups, pots, brazen vessels, and tables. These are what they taught the people, and ordered them the keep them: INSTEAD of instructing them in the TRUE doctrines of the Bible, reverencing the Messiah, and salvation brought by Him, the right fear, respect and true worship of God, His ordinances and statutes. Therefore their worship of Almighty God, although attended with a great show of holiness and religion, was a VAIN thing, empty, lacking life, power, and spirituality, and unacceptable to God! It was of NO real use, NO profit, and NO advantage whatsoever to themselves. It did NOT glorify God, it brought NO true pleasure, NO peace and NO comfort to themselves. Their hope of being in God’s favor, and of enjoying eternal happiness would prove a vain hope. Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (KJV) . . . Worship is utterly empty and void when the rules of men are substituted for the Word of God. Now the Lord Jesus comes to the heart of the trouble.
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. (KJV)
For laying aside the commandment of God . . . NOT any particular commandment, but ALL the commandments of God, the whole written law; to which they preferred the oral law, or the traditions of the elders, and the decisions of their doctors or wise men.
Ye hold the tradition of men . . . very powerful were the elders, whom the Jews revered, and whose traditions and masterpieces they exalted above the Scriptures. Called "men" in opposition to "God", whose commands they neglected! This exposed and aggravated their sin, that they should leave the command of God which had the stamp of divine authority on it, and hold tightly to the foolish other, which was only the product of men's brains.
As the washing of pots and cups . . . as if these also contracted uncleanness in some cases, and needed washing.
And many other such like things you do . . . so many that it is almost endless to keep up with. Laying aside God’s Word . . . rejecting it, or making it give way to man’s oral traditions. They considered the traditions far more superior in authority to the Divine Law. This was the uniform doctrine of the Pharisees. See Matthew 15:1-9.
Only God Himself has the right to state what shall be done in His service . . . BUT they held their traditions to be far above the written Word of God, and foolishly taught them as doctrines (Col.2:22). The same thing goes on today! My friend, TRUE worship is really our fear (respect, reverence) towards God. If a church teaches traditions and false doctrines, they are NOT worshiping God as they should. BEWARE!!! False doctrines, and traditions of men: (Isa.10:6; 29:13; 48:1-2; 58:2-3; Jer.3:10; 5:2; 12:2; 42:20; Eze.33:Ps.17:1; Mat.15:1-9; Mk.7:2-13; Col.2:22; 1 Tim.1:4-7; 2 Tim.4:4; Tit.1:4).
The Pharisees had asked why the disciples did not wash their hands according to the ritual tradition of the elders (verse 5). The hand-washing spoken about here was NOT what we think of today . . . with soap and water. This hand-washing was NOT because their hands were dirty, but instead, it was a recommended ritual done as a show of piety.
The Pharisees were teaching the people to observe the traditions of the elders, the decrees and determinations of the doctors, INSTEAD of the doctrines contained in the Scriptures of the Almighty and Holy God, which were utterly neglected by them. In the text in Isaiah, are only these words, "taught by the precept of men" and which relate to their fear and worship of God; and which is here interpreted of their teachers teaching them the commandments of men. Their mistake implies weakness of faith, because Jesus had given abundant evidence of His most capable ability.
Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. (KJV)
And he said unto them . . . He continued His discourse, saying, Full well, ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition . . . these words could have different interpretations. This could ask a question: "Do ye do well in rejecting?" Others think they mean skillfully, cunningly. "You are skillful, in laying aside God's commands, and substituting in their place those of men." Others think they are sarcastic. "Your diligent attachment to your traditions, have made void the law of God" meaning to indicate that they had acted wickedly and distastefully.
Here was the whole problem in a nut shell. They were substituting traditions of men and precepts of men for the Holy Word of God. A tradition may actually be good and may be established for a very good reason. BUT . . . it becomes evil when it becomes a substitute for the Word of God in later generations.
Think about what will happen to the people in today’s world, when they keep on keeping on with rejecting God’s Word about homosexuality! OR them trying to interpret the Bible to suit their own lusts! It is happening NOW, and it shall get worst! Homosexuality is a SIN! It is an ABOMINATION to Almighty God inn Heaven! Homosexuality is an Abomination to God: (Gen.19:4-5; Lev.18:22-24; 20:13-16; Rom.1:24-32; 1 Cor.6:9-11; 1 Tim.1:8-11; Jude 1:7).
Mark 7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: (KJV)
For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother . . . God’s Words through Moses, for the following rule was spoken by God, and written by Him on one of the tables of stone, and delivered into the hands of Moses, to be given to the children of Israel (Ex.20:12).
And whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death . . . (Ex.20:17). These commands are to be understood, NOT only by honoring parents in thought, word, and deed, BUT also of providing for them, when in want and distress, through poverty and old age. See Mat.15:4.
Mark 7:11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. (KJV)
But ye say . . . the elders, doctors and wise men, in total opposition to God and Moses.
If a man shall say to his father or his mother, it is Corban, that is to say, a gift . . . the word Corban is found only in Mark 7:11. The interpretation is given in the same verse: “a gift devoted to God.” “Corban” was something to be offered to God or given to the sacred treasury in the temple. IF something was “Corban,” it was dedicated and set apart for God’s use.
In the situation of Mark 7:1-13, Jesus speaks to the Pharisees about ritual without reality (NO heart-felt love or sincerity).
To answer the Pharisees’ question, Jesus told them that they had rejected the commandment of God in order to keep their own tradition (Mark 7:6-9), providing PROOF of their corrupting the Law by mentioning their use of “Corban.”
Moses had instructed God’s people to “honor their father and mother” (Ex.20:12), BUT the Pharisees cancelled that command, by teaching that they could give money to the temple instead of helping their parents in need. Whatever money might have been used to provide for aging parents could be dedicated to the temple treasury instead. Saying, “It is Corban” would exempt a person from his responsibility to his parents. So, what the Pharisees did was, took a legitimate Corban offering and used it in an illegitimate and devious way to defraud their parents (and enrich themselves). Thus, the Law of God was nullified.
Jesus tells the Pharisees that their misuse of Corban was an evil basis to avoid doing what they should do. God NEVER intended that the good principle of devoting something to the Temple should be twisted to dishonor fathers and mothers. Ritual without reality is what the Pharisaic religion was all about. It was also ritual without righteousness and without relationship. Jesus taught that, without a personal relationship with God, ritual profits nothing, and the traditions of man should never usurp the authority of God’s Word.
People today should pay attention! http://www.theodora.com/encyclopedia/c2/corban.html
According to the traditions of the elders, whoever made use of that word “Corban” to his father or mother, suggested that what they might have expected relief from at his hands, he had devoted it to sacred uses; adding,
By whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, he shall be free . . . be under no obligation to honor and relieve his parents, let their case and circumstances be what they would. My friend, this goes on ALL the time.
I volunteered in the nursing homes in our area for over 20 years, and I saw it all! These wretched people dump their aging ones and many do not even visit. One old black man told me that he and his wife raised 24 children, none of their own, not even one got a speeding ticket, and NOT one of those 24 children ever came to visit. That old man was in tears when he told me this. My dear Godly friend Charlie was 95 when he died.
“Corban” is the form of a vow, which a man makes on purpose, to free himself from the burden of helping his parents. See: Mat.15:5. Corban was a vow a person made, that what he had, should be “as Corban,” a gift dedicated to sacred uses, that could NOT be appropriated to any other use, so whatever he had, after such a vow, could NOT be applied to benefit his parents; even though he was NOT obliged to give it for the use of the temple, but might keep it himself, or bestow it upon others. What a horrible vow to make! "Whoso curses" (Ex.21:17; Lev.20:9; Pro.20:20).
Mark 7:12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; (KJV)
And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father, or his mother . . . according to the Jewish laws, if a man vowed a thing which is contrary to a command, he was obligated to keep that vow. If a man vowed that his father or his mother should never receive any benefit from what he had, but that his substance was as "Corban", or as something devoted to divine service, he was obliged to keep that vow; nor was he allowed after this, to do anything for his father or mother, no matter how poor or helpless they might be. The points of dispute are the same as reported by Matthew (Mat.15:1-9), but they are arranged differently and more strongly expressed. One of the few examples of sarcasm in the Savior's addresses is found here in the expression (verse 9), "Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition." They simply set up their own power and authority against God, and His Law. They did NOT withdraw the vow, because it was contrary to the command of God. They established their domineering power and authority, without ANY regard whatsoever to the honor and glory of Almighty God; and therefore what follows, is justly perceived by our Lord. Mat.15:5).
Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (KJV)
Making the word of God of none effect, through your tradition . . . an ancient copy reads, "your foolish tradition" . . . and that is really what it was, a vow made recklessly, and in lust. Which ye have delivered . . . they received it all from their ancestors, and delivered it to their disciples; and it is in this way, that all their traditions were kept alive.
And many such like things do ye . . . meaning that there were many other traditions besides this. Instead of preserving the written law, which they pretended, these traditions were like a hedge to them, and very often made God’s Law void.
Christ Jesus called the writings of Moses the "Word of God" (Mk. 7:10-13).
Consider the following marks of the Pharisees below. Compare them with Matthew 23.
#1. Many hand washings (Mk. 7:2-5)
#2. Faultfinding (Mk. 7:2)
#3. Holding to traditions of men above God's Word (Mk. 7:3)
#4. Ceremonial washing of body (Mk. 7:4)
#5. Ceremonial washings of cups, pots, vessels, and tables (Mk. 7:4,8)
#6. Demanding that all men follow their own outward religion (Mk. 7:5)
#7. Insisting on outward cleansing, but totally void of the inward cleansing (Mk. 7:5,14-20)
#8. Honoring God with their lips, but NOT with the heart (Mk. 7:6)
#9. Carrying on vain (ineffective, useless) worship (Mk. 7:7)
#10. Rejecting God's laws and teaching man's commandments (Mk. 7:8-9)
#11. Substituting man's traditions for TRUE worship of God (Mk. 7:9)
#12. Rejecting and setting aside Moses laws while claiming to follow him (Mk. 7:10-13)
#13. Using ridiculous traditions to free anyone from parental responsibility (Mk. 7:11-12)
#14. Using traditions as a means of personal greed (Mk. 7:11-12)
#15. Jesus sets apart that which is external (for show) and that which is internal (a sincere loving heart), clearly pointing out what is REAL. He explains that religion is NOT something that you can rub on like a salve, and it is NOT something that you eat or refrain from eating.
Personally, I think that the Roman Catholic religion has multiple "commandments of men" and I think they are WRONG! www.hisservants.org/catholics_h_s.htm
Christ's Law of Uncleanness, (Mark 7:14-23) (Mat.15:1-20)
Mark 7:14 (And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: KJV)
And when he, had called all the people unto him . . . having said what was sufficient to stop the mouths of the Scribes and Pharisees, about their deplorable traditions; He turns now to the common people, who stood at some distance away because of these respected doctors, and called to them to come nearer to Him.
He said unto them, Hearken to me every one of you, and understand . . . meaning that He had something to say to them, which they would do well to listen to, and that they should desire to understand properly, for, it concerned every one of them. (Mat.15:10).
Mark 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. (KJV)
There is nothing from without a man . . . no sort of food and drink, whether it be received, with or without washing of the hands,
That entering into him can defile him . . . can render him disgusting and unacceptable in the sight of God.
But the things which come out of him . . . "out of the mouth of man" (Mat.15:11), like the imaginations and lusts of the heart; such as all idle, unchaste, blasphemous and wrathful words and expressions: including evil thoughts, words, and actions . . . for ALL these things first start in the corrupt heart of man; and then in word, come out of the mouth; and in action. These are . . .
They that defile the man . . . his mind, conscience, the abilities of his soul, and the members of his body; and render him abominable in the sight of God, and expose him to God’s holy and righteous wrath and displeasure (Mat.15:11).
What all this boils down to is this: it is NOT what a man eats and drinks, and in what ever way he does either, even though he may eat and drink with unwashed hands, or out of cups, pots, and platters, not properly washed, according to the traditions of the elders, that renders him a polluted sinful man in the sight of God; BUT it is SIN in the heart, and what proceeds from it; like all evil thoughts, wicked words and impure actions; which cause a man to be filthy and unclean, and expose him to the hatred of God. One version reads: "it is not what enters from without into the mouth of man, which can defile him; but only what goes out of the heart man, this defiles the man". Another version adds, "and is the sin of death"; or sin unto death, a deadly, mortal sin.
Mark 7:16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. (KJV)
If any man have ears to hear, let him hear . . . Jesus is saying: “Listen to Me, it is important!” (Mat.11:15).
Mark 7:17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. (KJV)
And when he was entered into the house . . . very possibly at Capernaum, and it may be the house of Simon and Andrew, where He often stayed when there.
From the people . . . having dismissed and left them, when He and His disciples were by themselves alone.
His disciples asked him concerning the parable . . . that saying of His to the people, which was somewhat dark and difficult to them; that nothing without a man going into him defiled him, but what comes out of him: this was asked by Peter, in the name of the rest (Mat.15:15).
Mark 7:18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; (KJV)
And he saith unto them . . . with some warmth of spirit, but also some resentment, at their stupidity.
Are ye so without understanding also? . . . as with the others, and to such a degree, and yet, as Matthew expresses it, (Mat.15:16), so woefully unwise, and so long, and as others.
Do ye not perceive? . . . common sense should tell you,
That whatsoever thing from, without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him . . . Mat.15:16).
Mark 7:19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? (KJV)
Because it entereth not into his heart . . . the heart is the base and fountain of ALL moral pollution; and IF the heart is not defiled, no other part can be . . . and the heart is NOT defiled by eating and drinking, only in cases of overindulgence, for it is clear that food and drink do not go into the heart,
But into the belly . . . food and drink is taken in at the mouth, goes down the throat, and into the stomach, and from there passes through the bowel,
And goeth into the draught . . . "the private house" as the Jews call it, or the place for bodily waste, sewer (Mat.15:17). Food and drink never go into the heart at all.
Purging all meats . . . that which our bodies leave behind, is pure, beneficial and nourishing; and whatever is polluted and impure, is carried away it into the draught, so that nothing remains in the man that is defiling.
As the Jews interpreted the dietary laws in Leviticus 11, they believed they could be clean before God because of what they refused to eat. Jesus points out that sin starts in the attitudes and intentions of the inner person (the heart). Jesus did NOT reduce the law, but He did pave the way for the change made clear in Acts 10:9-29, when God removed the traditional restrictions regarding food. While we should be concerned about what we put into our bodies is a good and healthy thing to do, very few people (Mat.7:14) are nearly as strict about what they put into their minds, like reading or watching TV or movies. Jesus was much more concerned about mind-set and thought processes than about food laws. There are millions who are greatly concerned about what foods they eat, but NEVER once consider the "junk food" they put in their minds. BEWARE!!!
Mark 7:20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. (KJV)
And he said . . . continuing in His sermon (Mat.15:20).
That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man . . . this does NOT mean his dung or excrement, which was unclean by the Law (Deut.23:12-13), this means what comes out of his heart, by his mouth. (Mat.15:18).
Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, (KJV)
For from within, out of the heart of man . . . the inside of man (his heart and mind) is very bad, his inward part is not only wicked, but very wicked (Ps.5:9). In him dwells NO good thing naturally. Jer. 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (KJV) . . . A person’s heart is full of evil; and out of the abundance of it, proceed the evil things Mark mentions. There is no place clean; their understanding and judgment are dreadfully corrupted; the mind and conscience are defiled; the affections are immoral; not only the thought, but every imagination of the heart is evil, and that constantly.
Proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders . . . out of the heart proceed evil thoughts . . . of God, of Christ, of the Spirit, of fellow creatures, and of ALL kinds of wickedness. All thoughts of sin are evil, and should be hated and forsaken, because one day, all men shall be held accountable to God for their works and words. All wicked imaginations, carnal reasoning, lustful desires, and malicious plans are included; because they come from, are created and formed in the corrupt heart of man.
Evil thoughts . . . ALL evil thoughts begin in the heart. Evil thoughts of God, of Christ, of the Holy Spirit, of fellow creatures, and of ALL kinds of wickedness. All thoughts of sin are evil, and should be hated and forsaken, because one day, all men shall be held accountable to God for their works and words. All wicked imaginations, carnal reasoning, lustful desires, and malicious plans are included; because they arise from, are created and formed in the corrupt heart of man.
Adulteries . . . is sexual uncleanness committed between married persons, both in thought, and deed.
Fornications . . . is unlawful sexual intercourse of persons not married.
Murders . . . confirmed hatred of men, malicious deception, schemes to take away life, all angry and wrathful words (1 Jn.3:15), and the actual act of taking man's life, (anger is also murder).
Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: (KJV)
Thefts . . . taking away from others by force or fraud, what is their right and property: (loafing on the job is also stealing)
Covetousness . . . greed, wanting what the Jones’ have, grasping and greediness for material things and positions.
Wickedness . . . all the acts and words that are intended to hurt people.
Deceit . . . cheating, deception, dishonesty, hypocrisy, shams, treachery, trickery, the pretense that people put up.
Lasciviousness . . . inclined to lustfulness; immoral; lewd: lustful, a lascivious, girl-chasing old man, arousing sexual desire by lascivious photographs, immoral skimpy dress to arouse sexual lust, indicating sexual lust and activity. Also Sensuality . . .sensual nature, unrestrained indulgence in sensual pleasures, lewdness, not chaste; not virtuous; not pure: an unclean, impure woman, characterized by sexual suggestiveness, transgression, lascivious; bawdy.
Evil eye . . .envy, jealousy, looking to do wrong especially to God’s own people.
Blasphemy . . . slander against God or man, cursing, using the Name of the Father, His Holy Son and the Holy Spirit.
Pride . . . God hates it . . .1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (KJV) Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. (KJV)
Foolishness, stupidity . . . any acts done without any respect whatsoever for God or man.
ALL the above come out of the natural heart of man and that is why the Lord Jesus says, "Ye must be born again," so we can be given a soft tender heart to replace our heart of stone! Heart of stone: (Neh.9:29; Job 9:4; 41:24; Isa.48:4; Jer.5:3; Eze.2:4; 3:7-9; 11:19; 36:26; Zec.7:12; 2Cor.3:3).
False witness . . . swear falsely, or exhibit a false testimony to hurt or destroy his neighbor, either his name, person, or estate.
Blasphemies . . . speaking evil of God or men. To which Mark 7:21-23 adds: "covetousness"; a greedy and insatiable desire after the things of the world, or the neighbor’s goods: "wickedness"; doing hurt and mischief to fellow creatures: "deceit" in words and actions, in trade and conversation: "lasciviousness" all manner of uncleanness, and unnatural lusts: "an evil eye" of envy and covetousness: the corruption of nature, "pride" in heart and life, in dress and gesture; and "foolishness"; expressed in talk and conduct. (Mat.15:19).
Mark 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (KJV)
All these evil things come from within, and defile the man . . . ALL evil thoughts, course and vulgar words and actions, begin within the inward parts of man; from his heart . . . which sad to say, is terribly corrupted, and is the fountain from where all these impure torrents flow. Consider this: IF these come from within, as the Lord Jesus states, then they cannot come from without, outside! My friend, the effects or examples in OTHERS often pulls out the evil that is within YOU! Your evil, your wickedness is NOT produced in others . . . for IF it was not there (IN YOU) before, it could NOT be drawn or pulled out from another.
The evil is there within you! Then when you get with the wrong crowd, with the same evils within them . . . a big party of evils take place!
I find this SO true with inmates who have been released, only to go back to their old ways and end up behind those walls again, How sad! I strive to get them to stay on the right path, to stay away from old acquaintances, but more often than not, they get in trouble all over again!
Since these evils come from within, the inward man must be sinful and polluted, and from where springs that inward pollution? It is the fruit of original sin, of Adam and Eve’s transgression; the result of which is, a corrupt nature, which is transferred to all his posterity. For their natures being corrupted by sin, and he having human nature in him, the individuals of it could not be spread by ordinary generation, without the pollution of sin cleaving to them. "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one" (Job 14:4).
There has NEVER been any instance to the contrary, EXCEPT the Man Christ Jesus; whose human nature was Holy, for it did NOT descending from Adam by ordinary generation; or else, all men, as David was, are "shapen in iniquity, and conceived in sin" (Ps.51:5). Original sin was and is the source and spring of All sinful action, internal and external.
IF you get the morning paper wherever you live and will read it through, you will find that this is what came out of man during the last twenty-four hours: Evil thoughts, adulteries and fornications, all kinds of unlawful sex relations, murders (anger is also murder 1 Jn.3:15), thefts (loafing on the job is also stealing, showing up late for a job, taking off early is a sin, covetousness, greed, clutching for material things and positions, wickedness, all the acts that are intended to hurt people, deceit, dishonesty, immoral lust for sex (lasciviousness), evil eye, envy, jealousy, pride, blasphemy, slander against God or man, foolishness, acts done without any respect for God or man. ALL these all come out of the heart of man and that is why the Lord Jesus says, "Ye must be born again."
Syrophoenician's Demon-possessed Daughter (Mark 7:24-30) (Mat.15:10-20)
Mark 7:24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. (KJV)
And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon . . .from the land of Gennesaret, or from Capernaum, which was in it.
And entered into an house . . . in one of the towns, or cities, in those parts; which house might be, for the entertainment and lodging of strangers.
And would have no man know it . . . the Lord took all precautions, that no one should know who, and where He was; that the Gentiles, on whose borders He was, might not flock to him, which would create envy and disgust in the Jews.
But he could not be hid . . . He had done so many miracles in Galilee, and His fame was so wide spread, and He had been seen, and was known by so many people, that it was next to impossible, that He could be very long in such a place without someone spreading the news.
Mark 7:25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: (KJV)
For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came. . . one way by which He came to be more openly discovered, was this woman in those parts, whose daughter had a devil, with which she was possessed. Hearing of some miracles Jesus had done in healing the sick, and casting out devils; and understanding that he was in such a place ran to Him,
And fell at is feet . . . with great respect and reverence to such an honored Person, threw herself at His Feet, and earnestly begged for mercy for her child; believing that He had power to cast the devil out of her, although some distance away from her.
Mark 7:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. (KJV)
The woman was a Greek . . . or Gentile, a Heathen woman, which made her faith all the more remarkable. Matthew says she was a woman of Canaan (Mat.15:22). Although the land of Israel in general, was called the land of Canaan, yet there was a particular part, which was at first inhabited by Canaan himself, which bore this name; and is the same with Phoenicia, of which this woman was an inhabitant, and therefore she is afterwards called a Syrophoenician.
A Syrophoenician by nation . . . or extract. One version says, she was "the wife of a Syrophoenician man.
And she besought him, that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter . . . which she was convinced, by what she had heard of Him, that He was able to do, by just speaking a word, although her daughter was not there.
The term "Greek" is here used, as it was frequently by the Jews, in the sense of Gentile (1 Cor.24). After Alexander's conquests, when all the world was in subjection to the Greeks, the Jews divided the world politically into Jews and Greeks. "Syrophenician" is a compound of Syrian and Phenician, and means a Syrian of Phenicia, Phenicia being at that time a part of the province of Syria. She was also a Canaanite. (Mat.15:25).
Mark 7:27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. (KJV)
But Jesus said unto her . . . not immediately on her first request; for He answered not a word to that; but after His disciples wanted her sent away, her cries being so troublesome to them; and after she had renewed her request to Him (Mat.15:23-25).
Let the children first be filled . . . according to this, our Lord directed His apostles, and they proceeded, as He Himself was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mat.10:6; 15:24). He ordered His disciples to go to them, and preach the Gospel to them, and work miracles among them; and NOT to go in the way of the Gentiles, nor into any of the cities of the Samaritans . . . BUT . . . when they had gone through the cities of Judea, He ordered them, AFTER His resurrection, to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Lk.24:47-48), and this order they observed in other places, where there were Jews; they first preached to them, and then to the Gentiles; knowing that it was necessary, that the Word of God should be first spoken to the Jews; and it was the power of God to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile. The expression here used, although it gives the preference to the Jew, absolutely does NOT exclude the Gentile! Quite the contrary, it supposes, that after the Jews had heard the doctrines of Christ, confirmed by His miracles, sufficiently ministered unto them . . . the gathering of the chosen ones among the Jews, and to leave the rest of the stubborn and hard-hearted ones inexcusable; and as long as they would despise the Truth, and put it away from them, judging themselves unworthy of it . . . then the Gentiles would have abundant Gospel provisions set before them, and would eat of them, and be filled. Bread of Life: (Jn.6:33,35;48,51). Water of life: (Jn.4:14; Rev.21:6; 22:1,17).
And they would have a large number of miracles done among them, and a fullness of the blessings of grace bestowed on them. The “Jews” had a loathing and contempt of the Gentiles. For it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs . . . "the children" means the Israelites, who were not only the children of Abraham by natural descent, but the children of God, to whom pertained the adoption, by virtue of the national covenant made with them; by "the dogs" are meant the Gentiles, who were thus called such by the Jews.
Mark 7:28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. (KJV)
And she answered and said unto him, yes, Lord . . . she agreed to and accepted what He said; which she seemed to understand, even though delivered in a proverbial way. She replies:
Yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs . . . I love this woman’s thinking! She was NOT going to be ‘brushed off’. She was determined!
She was NOT envious of the blessings of the Jews, NOR did she want anything to be done to injure them. It seemed that she understood perfectly what Jesus was saying to her. She wanted only that this favor of healing her young daughter might be done by Jesus. She was unworthy because she was a Gentile, and she subtly owns, that the character of dogs belonged to the Gentiles. She felt inferior to the Jews, as to their privileges. But she said that, like dogs under the table; anything which fell from the table of the Gospel ministry, was not for the Jews, but even undeserving of them, the dogs were allowed to eat crumbs, which fell from the table. So such unworthy Gentiles as she, might be allowed a small benefit or favor, when it did not take away from, and was no disadvantage to the Jews. (Mat.15:27).
We have this unique incident before us. The Lord stepped out of His own land and met this woman who was a Greek. She truly came to Jesus in great faith. Daughter here means she was just a little girl. At first, our Lord's treatment of this woman may appear extremely brutal, but when we study this in the Gospel of Matthew, it shows the dispensational interpretation which is actually the revelation of a tremendous Truth. This woman is an exceptional example of faith in one who lives outside His land, a Gentile. And since the Lord answered her petition, it makes me wonder . . . is it possible that He came to that particular area for the specific purpose of answering the faith of this woman?
Mark 7:29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. (KJV)
And he said unto her, For this saying . . . that which she expressed such great faith in Him.
Go thy way . . . in peace, thy request is granted; it is as thou would have it.
The devil is gone out of thy daughter . . . one version reads, "go thy way; for with the blessing of this word, the devil is gone out of thy daughter". This saying refers to the Word of Christ, and His divine power that went along with it, the expulsion of the devil.
Christ, who as God is everywhere, and whose divine power reaches to all places, all people and all things, in a secret and powerful manner, cast out the devil from this woman's daughter . . . without going to her, without speaking to her, His magnificent and majestic power had brought forth the miracle effectively.
Mark 7:30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed. (KJV)
And when she was come to her house . . . when Jesus spoke, this remarkable woman was abundantly satisfied, and went away with tremendous faith, that the Lord Jesus could dispossess the devil. When she arrived at her house,
She found the devil gone out . . . of her daughter; and that she was completely dispossessed of him, and she would NO more vexed and tormented with him, but in perfect ease, and at rest.
And her daughter laid upon the bed . . . without any violent motions, convulsions, no tossing to and fro, as before. Now she lay calm and still, getting some rest after having been so long very exhausted with the possession. One version reads, "she found her daughter clothed, and sat upon the bed" . . . persons possessed, would often put off their clothes, and tear them in pieces; and were rarely calm, and hardly ever sat very long in one place.
Demons, when expelled from persons, sometimes threw them into convulsions and left them in an extremely prostrate condition (Mk.1:26; 9:26). It may have been so with this girl, who had probably been lifted from the floor and placed on the bed before her mother came in. (Mat.15:21-28).
A Deaf Stammerer Healed, In Decapolis (Mark 7:31-37) (Mat.15:29-31)
It seems that from the vicinity of Tyre, Jesus went farther north, and passed through Sidon, and then, detoured to the east and south, reaching Decapolis, southeast of the lake of Galilee, and passed through this district to the lake shore Jesus came upon "one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech," which simply means "a deaf stammerer." This man was not completely without hearing, or he would have been dumb. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5035-decapolis-the
Mark 7:31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. (KJV)
And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon . . . and again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, Jesus came unto the Sea of Galilee.
He came unto the sea of Galilee; through the midst the coasts of Decapolis . . . or Tiberias, the same as the lake of Gennesaret. He came to those parts of Galilee, which lay by it, where He had been, before He went the borders of Tyre and Sidon. (Mat.15:29).
Mark 7:32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. (KJV)
And they bring unto him one that was deaf . . . there were two kinds of persons that were called deaf among the Jews: one that could neither hear nor speak; such as were born deaf; and so having never heard anything. It was impossible these would ever speak. The other were they that could speak, but not hear; having lost their hearing by some disaster, but retained their speech. It seems that this sort was this man, who although he had some difficulty in speaking, yet could speak a little.
And had an impediment in his speech . . . or could "hardly speak". It seems to mean one that stammered, and could not speak plainly, and without great difficulty: he was tongue tied, as it seems from verse 35. This man lived in the parts where Christ now was, and his relatives or friends bring him to Jesus, having heard of His fame, and perhaps they had seen miracles performed by Him.
And they beseech him to put his hand upon him . . . the begged Jesus to put His hand on the man, firmly believing that if He did, the man would be able to hear, and be able to speak without difficulty.
Mark 7:33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; (KJV)
And he took him aside from the multitude . . . took him aside . . . Jesus was still trying to maintain His privacy; that is why the withdrawal from the multitude when about to heal this man.
And put his fingers into his ears . . . put His Fingers in the man's ears, one Finger in each ear.
And he spit and touched his tongue . . . then Jesus spit: we are not told where, but the natural inference is that He spit on the ground. Different versions say different things: "spitting he touched his tongue"; "he cast his spittle on his tongue"; or rather, he spit on his finger, and touched his tongue with it.
These actions were NOT done as means of healing, or as having any natural virtue, or tendency in them, to effect a cure; but to show the power of Christ, that by the mere touch of His finger, and by the spittle of His Mouth, as well as by laying on of hands, and by a Word speaking, He could at once remove this, or ANY such disorder.
The taking this man aside from the multitude, is an symbol of the Lord's separating His people from the rest of the world, when He calls them by His grace (2 Cor.6:17), for they are distinguished from others. When we choose Christ, and the redemption by Him; we are bid to come out from among them, and by the power of divine grace. We are brought out from among them, giving up themselves to Christ.
Mark 7:34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. (KJV)
And looking up to heaven . . . to His Father there, by whom He was sent, and from Whom, as Man, He received His authority and power . . . this was NOT for assistance in the working of this miracle, for Jesus had power to do this Himself. Neither do we find that He put up any request to His Father: but He seems to have made use of this motion, not for His own sake, but for the sake of the man: to teach him, that every good gift, blessing, mercy and favor, comes from God above, and so this thing He was about to partake of, was from above:
He sighed . . . NOT that He was unable or unequal to do the work of healing the man, neither was He despairing of doing it; but simply showing compassion in the case of the poor man, and reflecting with concern upon his sin, that had been the occasion of it. The action of looking up to Heaven and sighing, may be understood in a spiritual sense, or with relation to the spiritual healing of a sinner, may show that such a blessing comes from God above: it is received from Heaven; it is God that gives the hearing ear, as well as the seeing eye; and that in a spiritual, as well as in a natural sense: and therefore this directs us to apply to God for it, whether for a our self, or for others; and when received, to look up again to Heaven, and give thanks for it. The Lord had power to help them, He makes use of it.
And saith unto him; Ethphatha, that is, Be opened . . . both the ears and the mouth. Such power goes along with the Word of His grace . . . to the opening of the heart, to paying heed to the things which are spoken; and to the opening of the ear to discipline and obedience!
Mark 7:35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. (KJV)
And straightway his ears were opened . . . such power went along with the Words of Christ, when He said, "be opened"; that immediately, as soon as the words were spoken, the man could hear! And he heard as any other man.
And the string of his tongue . . . the bond or hinderance that prevented the man from speaking freely was gone!
Was loosed, and he spake plain . . . "easily", without any trouble! Now he could be freely understood by others.
Those whose ears are opened, and whose tongues are loosed in a spiritual manner by Christ, speak plainly of what they have heard and seen, and feel inside! They can, they MUST give a plain and clear account of the work of God upon their souls, or they displease the Lord Jesus! You CANNOT sit on the fence! You CANNOT be a “closet Christian.” You must be bold! You must tell others about what Jesus has done for you! You must be willing to encourage others to go to Him, for healing, pardon, righteousness and eternal life, so they can become His heir in the everlasting Kingdom (Jn.14:1-6; 1 Pet.1:3-5).
Boldness, courage: (Job 11:15; Pro.14:26; 28:1; Jn.7:26; Acts 4:19,29; 13:46; 2 Cor.11:21; Eph.3:12; Phil.1:14,20; 1 Tim.3:13; Heb.4:16; 10:19,35; 13:6; 1 Jn.2:28; 3:21; 4:17).
Boldness in speaking God’s message: (Acts 4:31; 9:27-28; 14:3; 18:26; 19:8; Rom.10:20; 15:15; 2 Cor.3:12; Eph.6:19-20; 1 Thes.2:2).
Mark 7:36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; (KJV)
And he charged them that they should tell no man . . . it was this very region where He had sent the man, out of whom had been cast the legion of devils, to proclaim "what the Lord had done for him" (Mk.5:19). Now here, He will have them "tell no man." In the former case there was no danger of obstructing His ministry by "blazing the matter" (Mk. 1:45), for before He had left the region, whereas now He was sidestepping in it.
But the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it . . . the more He told them to keep the cure a secret, "the more they published it." His concern to avoid publicity made Him all the more wonderful in their eyes, and inspired them with a greater desire to sound His praise abroad.
Mark 7:37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. (KJV)
And were beyond measure astonished . . . a great change had come over these people since the legion of demons was cast out. They had then feared Him greatly, and demanded that He leave their coasts; but now they cry out, with reference both to that miracle and this, "He hath done all things well."
In this paragraph, and the parallel in Matthew, a characteristic difference between the two writers is seen. Matthew says that "great multitudes came to him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet, and he healed them" (Matt. 15:30); but he gives no particular description of any single case. Mark, on the other hand, picks a single one of these cures, and describes it, down to the nitty-gritty, both it and its effect on the people. The whole multitude were exceedingly amazed at what was done, in this case, and many others; for there were other miracles also done at this time (Mat.15:30-31). The grace of God is an awesome thing in opening the ears and heart of a sinner, and causing the tongue of the dumb to sing His praise. It is astonishing that such grace should be bestowed at all; and it is more, that it should be communicated to such unworthy persons as it is. It should produce such effects as it does; and it should make a surprising change in people, and be joined with blessed results.
Saying, he hath done all things well . . . NOT by Beelzebub, the prince of devils, as was said by the Scribes and Pharisees (Mat.124; Mk.3:22; Lk.11:15), and NOT in any pompous manner, for the sake of the honor and applause of men, but for the good of mankind, and for the glory of God, as were ALL the miraculous works, which Christ did.
He maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak . . . this was an instance of both which there was in this one man's case.
The masses of the people who had witnessed His miracles were wild with excitement wherever He went, bringing to Him their sick from every district, something that could not possibly have been kept up had His cures been false and failing. His enemies, although they differed in opinion as to the source of His miraculous power, acknowledged the reality, and none of them counted Him less than a Prophet. They thought that He was John the Baptist, or one of the old prophets raised to life again. It indicates the struggle of unbelieving minds to try to explain His power and of His Being. Even those who knew Him most intimately and rejected Him most scornfully, were forced to wonder where He obtained His wisdom and mighty works. There really was just one solution of the problem which could satisfy the mind, and only those were satisfied with their conclusion and rested in it . . . they believed Him to be the Christ and the Son of God. And my friend, to this day the men who have rejected this conclusion and have tried to figure out the Lord Jesus in some other way, have been driven to vanities as unfounded and as unreasonable as any of those adopted by the Jews.
Gospel of Mark
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9. . ch.10. . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16