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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Mark 7

Introduction

  1. Introduction
    Read: Jer 17:7-8 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
    1. The heart of the issue is always the issue of the heart… >> and that’s what Jesus is going to tell us this morning as we begin Mark chapter 7.
    2. How will we respond to the message? What will we take away?
    3. Story of man who is ill and goes to the doctor with his wife… Doc does all the tests and looks at the results and asks the wife to come into his office >> be nice and treat him like a King for 6-12 mos and he may recover. Husband asks the prognosis: you’re going to die.
    4. As we hear the Word…are we willing to change?

Verses 1-13

  1. Hypocrisy
    1. The Tradition
      Mar 7:1-4 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. 2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 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.
      1. The tradition here is that the Jews were to eat with washed hands…washed according to traditions given by the religious leadership.
      2. They also would not eat from any vessel that hadn’t been washed ceremonially.
      3. Note the real issue: they are finding FAULT with others because of their tradition.
      4. We must take care, ourselves, that we don’t find fault in other’s lives just because they don’t meet our expectations…
        1. Remember, expectations bring attitudes!
        2. Smoking, social alcohol, video games, etc. are not sinful…only when they become idols or are taken in excess.
        3. The wise Christian under grace should, however, remember Paul’s words:
        4. ​​​​​​​1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
    2. Vain Worship
      Mar 7:5-8 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? 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. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 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.
      1. The Pharisees and scribes just wanted to be righteous on the outside…doing & being seen doing the things that others said made them Holy.
      2. Jesus cuts right to the issue, however…”the people honor God with their lips but their hearts are far from Him”!
        1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Where are our hearts? Do we come to church and sing songs to God but our hearts are somewhere else? Is Sunday morning church just a check box?
      3. And…they worship in vain because not only are their hearts not after God, they teach that the traditions and commandments of men are of a higher priority than the commandments of God.
      4. What “Religions” do this today…even within Christianity?
        1. ​​​​​​​Catholicism places the worship of Mary, rosary, etc. as essentials and what the Pope says as divine. Some pentacostals think if girls wear pants or you smoke cigarettes you won’t go to heaven.
        2. Where in the Bible does it say any of that? We need to make sure our essentials are essential according to the Bible and not tradition or something someone comes up with!
          1. ​​​​​​​2Pe 1:19-21 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    3. “Corban”
      ​​​​​​​Mar 7:9-13 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 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. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
      1. Then Jesus gives the people an example:
      2. “Moses said” means God’s law – which said that all people are to honor their father and mother – yet, tradition said that if you made a monetary gift to the temple declaring “Corban” then you were free from your responsibility to your parents.
      3. This was not God’s heart or He would have said so…God doesn’t want us to think we can buy our way out of our responsibilities or out of our sin…rather, our hearts need to be after His heart which is taking care of people!​​​​​​​

Verses 14-23

  1. The Issue of the Heart
    1. What’s Going in…
      Mar 7:14-19 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: 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. 16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. 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; 19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
      1. Going back to the handwashing example: Jesus tells the people that there is NOTHING external that enters a man and defiles him. Then He says, listen up! This is important!
      2. And in the house…the disciples as usual ask what’s up with His teachings…
      3. And His explanation, “whatever goes in is digested and the remains are purged. It doesn’t go into the heart but the belly!” Therefore, foods don’t defile! à Think about Peter in Acts; “Peter, kill and eat” …” What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common”.
    2. ​​​​​​​What’s Coming out…
      Mar 7:20-23 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
      1. RATHER…what comes out of the man (as in behavior and choices) are what defiles him. Jesus then lists many things that are evidence of a defiled heart -- things related to physical desires, pride and idolatry:: (1John 2:15).
      2. This is one way we can see where we are in our walk with the Lord – by what is coming out of our lives.
      3. We can tell much about a person’s walk with the Lord and where their heart is by listening to their speech seeing how they spend money.
      4. Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
      5. Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
  2. Change My Heart O God!
    Psa 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
    1. ​​​​​​​Our Part
      1. ​​​​​​​Heb 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
      2. Act 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
      3. Pro 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
      4. 2Ti 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
      5. Heb 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
      6. Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
      7. Mat 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
    2. God’s Part
      1. ​​​​​​​(God looks on the Heart) 1Sa 16:7b for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
      2. (The Word discerns our hearts) Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
      3. (God searches our hearts) Jer 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
      4. (God gives us a new heart when we accept Him) Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
      5. (As we wait on Him…He will strengthen our hearts) Psa 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
  3. Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
    2. 1Pe 3:15a But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
    3. Php 2:12-13 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Verses 24-30

  1. Introduction
    Read: Mar 7:24-30 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. 25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: 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. 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. 28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. 29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. 30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
    1. Last time we took a look at the Pharisees, their traditions that superceded the Word of God and the issue of their hearts…
      1. …and how Jesus told us that it is what comes out of our mouths, as a result of The heart, that defiles us. Our speech betrays our hearts! Our selfishness, anger, lust – it comes out eventually.
    2. The Gospel of Mark is meant to help us…to teach us how to live for God and for others and not for ourselves. Mark 10:45…
    3. Today, as we hear the Word…we will learn that Jesus breaks tradition again…and goes to the Gentiles to minister as well as the Jews – but He responds to the people who cry out to Him in complete humility –
    4. Are we willing to come to Jesus in the same way?
  2. The Syro-Phenician Woman
    1. ​​​​​​​The Situation
      Mar 7:24-26 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. 25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: 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.
      1. Jesus has left Jewdom and gone to the Land of Gentiles…this is something that no self-respecting Jew would willingly do. He has travelled some 50 miles North!
      2. He goes into someone’s house…hoping to hide (probably to rest) but He’s “foundout”! A woman has followed Him and knows He’s there and goes to Him asking for help…
      3. Her quest is to have Jesus cast out the unclean spirit in her daughter. Note: she is a gentile, of Greek descent from Syrophenicia. She is NOT a Jew!
      4. This woman also opens the door to talk about parenting and intercession…
        1. ​​​​​​​Parents: Do we pray for our children faithfully? Do we bring them before the throne of God on a regular basis and ask God to protect them, direct them and correct them?
        2. Christian: Do we bring our friends, loved ones, our church body, and the persecuted church before the throne of God? Do we intercede on their behalves?
          1. ​​​​​​​Do we notice those in pain, those suffering, those who need a touch and do we lift them up? We have a great high privilege…we can come BOLDLY before the throne of Grace to find Grace and Help in time of need…
        3. ​​​​​​​Do we take advantage of it?
  3. Humility
    Mar 7:27-28 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. 28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.
    1. “Dog”
      1. ​​​​​​​The Jews called the gentiles “DOGS”. Jesus says that, in essence, His ministry is to the lost sheep of Israel – and that it isn’t right that it should go to the gentiles.
      2. In fact, in the parallel account in Matthew 15:24…Jesus says, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
      3. Look at what He says, though…He calls her a dog. Granted, the word doesn’t mean the roving scavenger dogs that permeated that society, rather it is the word for the little puppies that sit under the dinner table cleaning up the scraps. But, still, it is an insult.
    2. ​​​​​​​Her Walk
      1. ​​​​​​​She doesn’t respond hatefully, she doesn’t fight back or get into it with Him… she humbly accepts all that He dishes out without a fight or quarrel or even a response to the term…
      2. She simply says, “Yes, Lord”. à How remarkable! In todays society…everyone thinks of themselves first and won’t take an insult from anyone!
      3. This is the essence of “HOW” we must walk as Christians. Trust the Lord with all of our hearts, lean not on our own understand – walk in humility with God and man.
        1. ​​​​​​​Mic 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
        2. Pro 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
        3. 1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
    3. “Yes, Lord”
      1. ​​​​​​​She answered “Yes, Lord” – she is recognizing Him as the Son of God – the Savior of the World. Do we respond “Yes, Lord” when we hear from Him?
      2. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​To be saved…we must recognize who we are and who we are not! In our flesh dwells NO GOOD THING! We have nothing to offer God, He’s the creator: we are simply the creation!
      3. Act 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
      4. Rom 10:9-13 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES ON HIM WILL NOT BE PUT TO SHAME." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED."
    4. His Response
      Mar 7:29-30 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. 30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
      1. He cast out the Demon!
      2. 1Pe 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Verses 31-37

  1. Deaf and Dumb
    1. The Situation
      Mar 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.
      1. Jesus comes back south to the same basic area where He encountered the Demoniac who had the legion of demons in him…
      2. And now “Someone” -- an intercessor of sorts, is bringing this man to Jesus! This man being deaf and dumb (He can not hear or speak).
      3. Do we bring people to Jesus? Do we share His love and healing power? He has power over demons, physical infirmities, addictions – Jesus is the creator of all things!
      4. Col 1:14-17 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
    2. Humility
      Mar 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.
      1. The person, whoever they are, is interceding on behalf of this man and comes in humility…
      2. How do we know? They “beseech” Jesus – literally: pleading, imporing or begging Jesus to heal him.
    3. His Response
      Mar 7:33-37 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. 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; 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.
      1. He heals him!
      2. Here’s how He did it – which is different than other times He heals... God doesn’t want us to box Him in thinking He only does things one way or He can only do them a certain way …NO! He’s God!
      3. ​​​​​​​So He puts His fingers in his ears (remember the guy can’t hear so Jesus is communicating through touch) and in essence says, “you can’t hear?”
      4. Then He spit (it doesn’t say on the man’s tongue) and touched his tongue (I’m sure still communicating the problem)…and He sighed (similar to Rom 8:23 – waiting for creation to be restored) and spoke that he be healed.
      5. And he was!
        1. ​​​​​​​(G. Campbell Morgan) Undoubtedly, Jesus knew there was something special in His manner that would minister to this man. “He adapts His method to the peculiar circumstances of need of the one with whom He is dealing. I am quite convinced if we could perfectly know these men we should discover the reason for the method. In each case Christ adapted Himself to the need of the man.”
  2. Conclusion
    1. ​​​​​​​Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Mark 7". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/mark-7.html. 2017.