Mark 6:53-7:23 Reading the Passage

The Dangers of Tradition – Mark 6:53-7:23

6 (53) When they had crossed over the lake, they landed at Gennesaret, and moored to the shore. (54) When they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized him. (55) They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. (56) And wherever he went—into villages, towns, or the countryside—they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him to let them touch even the edge of his garment. And all who touched him were healed.

7 Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. (2) They had seen that some of his disciples ate their food with “unclean,”—that is, ceremonially unwashed—hands. (3) (Now the Pharisees, and all the Jews, observing the tradition of the elders, do not eat unless they have first performed a ceremonial hand washing. (4) And when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat until they have first bathed themselves. There are also many other traditions that they have received and that they observe, such as the ceremonial washing of cups and pots and brass kettles.) (5) So the Pharisees and the scribes ask him, Why do your disciples not observe the tradition of the elders, but eat their food with “unclean” hands?

(6) And he said to them, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written, “This nation honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (7) They worship me in vain; teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men.” (8) You let go the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men. (9) Furthermore, he said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, so that you may keep your tradition. (10) Moses said, “Honor your father and your mother;” and, “Whoever curses his father or mother, let him be put to death.” (11) But you say, If a man shall say to his father or his mother, That by which you might have received financial assistance from me is Corban, (that is to say, Given to God); (12) you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother; (13) thereby making void the word of God by your tradition, which you have handed down from past generations. And you do many similar things.

(14) Then he called the crowd to himself once again, and said to them, Listen to me, all of you, and understand. (15) Nothing outside a man can make him “unclean” by going into him; on the contrary, the things that come out of the man are the things that defile the man. (16) If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.

(17) When he had entered the house and was away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about the parable. (18) He said to them, Are you also so lacking in understanding? Do you not realize that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him; (19) because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and then it passes out of his body? (In saying this he made all foods clean.) (20) And he said, What comes out of the man, that is what defiles the man. (21) From within men, out of the heart of men, come forth evil thoughts, such as fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, (22) all types of greed and malice, deceit, wantonness, envy, slander, arrogance, folly. (23) All these evil things come from within the man and defile him.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.