Mark 7
GOD'S WORD® Translation

1The Pharisees and some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. 2They saw that some of his disciples were unclean because they ate without washing their hands. 3(The Pharisees, like all other Jewish people, don't eat unless they have properly washed their hands. They follow the traditions of their ancestors. 4When they come from the marketplace, they don't eat unless they have washed first. They have been taught to follow many other rules. For example, they must also wash their cups, jars, brass pots, and dinner tables.) 5The Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus, "Why don't your disciples follow the traditions taught by our ancestors? They are unclean because they don't wash their hands before they eat!"

6Jesus told them, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites in Scripture: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

7Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans.'

8"You abandon the commandments of God to follow human traditions."

9He added, "You have no trouble rejecting the commandments of God in order to keep your own traditions! 10For example, Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother' and 'Whoever curses father or mother must be put to death.' 11But you say, 'If a person tells his father or mother that whatever he might have used to help them is [corban] (that is, an offering to God), 12he no longer has to do anything for his father or mother.' 13Because of your traditions you have destroyed the authority of God's word. And you do many other things like that."

14Then he called the crowd again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and try to understand! 15Nothing that goes into a person from the outside can make him unclean. It's what comes out of a person that makes him unclean. 16Let the person who has ears listen!"

17When he had left the people and gone home, his disciples asked him about this illustration. 18Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand? Don't you know that whatever goes into a person from the outside can't make him unclean? 19It doesn't go into his thoughts but into his stomach and then into a toilet." (By saying this, Jesus declared all foods acceptable.) 20He continued, "It's what comes out of a person that makes him unclean. 21Evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, 22adultery, greed, wickedness, cheating, shameless lust, envy, cursing, arrogance, and foolishness come from within a person. 23All these evils come from within and make a person unclean."

24Jesus left that place and went to the territory of Tyre. He didn't want anyone to know that he was staying in a house there. However, it couldn't be kept a secret. 25A woman whose little daughter had an evil spirit heard about Jesus. She went to him and bowed down. 26The woman happened to be Greek, born in Phoenicia in Syria. She asked him to force the demon out of her daughter. 27Jesus said to her, "First, let the children eat all they want. It's not right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." 28She answered him, "Lord, even the dogs under the table eat some of the children's scraps." 29Jesus said to her, "Because you have said this, go! The demon has left your daughter." 30The woman went home and found the little child lying on her bed, and the demon was gone.

31Jesus then left the neighborhood of Tyre. He went through Sidon and the territory of the Ten Cities to the Sea of Galilee. 32Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and who also had a speech defect. They begged Jesus to lay his hand on him. 33Jesus took him away from the crowd to be alone with him. He put his fingers into the man's ears, and after spitting, he touched the man's tongue. 34Then he looked up to heaven, sighed, and said to the man, "Ephphatha!" which means, "Be opened!" 35At once the man could hear and talk normally. 36Jesus ordered the people not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them, the more they spread the news. 37Jesus completely amazed the people. They said, "He has done everything well. He makes the deaf hear and the mute talk."

GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.

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