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Daily Bible Reading (Friday, February 16th)


Mark 7 (ESV)


Traditions and Commandments

Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly,[a] holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.[b] And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.[c]) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,

“‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)[d] 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

What Defiles a Person

14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”[e] 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him,19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?”[f] (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

The Syrophoenician Woman's Faith

24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon.[g] And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden.25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

Jesus Heals a Deaf Man

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him.33 And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 And Jesus[h] charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”


  1. Mark 7:3 Greek unless they wash the hands with a fist, probably indicating a kind of ceremonial washing
  2. Mark 7:4 Greek unless they baptize; some manuscripts unless they purify themselves
  3. Mark 7:4 Some manuscripts omit and dining couches
  4. Mark 7:11 Or an offering
  5. Mark 7:15 Some manuscripts add verse 16If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear
  6. Mark 7:19 Greek goes out into the latrine
  7. Mark 7:24 Some manuscripts omit and Sidon
  8. Mark 7:36 Greek he


Jesus calls out the Pharisees and Scribes for their hypocrisy, leaving the word of God to establish their own traditions. True defilement comes out of a person's heart, not from what they eat. Because of their faith, Jesus heals even those that would have been considered unclean, and his fame spreads more and more.

Good reminder of the importance of the heart. So easy to get caught up in just doing things because I know I should. Also very easy to look down on others based on their outward actions not being like mine. Praying God would use His word to change our hearts to be more like Him today and that as a result of seeing Him we would be so amazed that we proclaim Him willingly.

I am always struck by the fact that whenever Jesus charged people not to tell others about Him they disobeyed and more zealously proclaimed Him because they were astonished beyond measure by Jesus. Today we are told to tell everybody but we often disobey by not telling others much less zealously proclaiming Him. We need again to be astonished beyond measure by the person and work of Jesus Christ. We must constantly be on guard of letting the good news become old news.

May we at BF continue to be astounded beyond measure (verse 37) by the person and work of Christ. May we respond to all that happens in our lives and relationships with the truth that He does all things well.

Amen. Hallelujah

It is a daily effort, a constant struggle that we all share, to keep our hearts close to God and NOT far from him - not to get too relaxed in this comfortable country of abundance, and fall into the trap of vs 6-8 - lips that speak God but a heart far from Him. That I would go eagerly to his feet instead of being pushed there by the discipline of the Lord!

Christ's reminder that our evil comes from our heart is so convicting! We come from a society who wants to blame our sin on hardship, people not caring, or previous abuse; but, in reality our sin comes from our hearts. We are wicked, sinful creatures who are in constant rebellion to God and unless Christ transforms our hearts that is how we'll live the rest of our lives. Lord, thank you for your amazing love that transforms even the darkest of hearts!

When Jesus told the Pharisees and scribes, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!”, that is to me such a powerful image of righteous anger.

As Jesus heals the deaf man, he simply spoke it. It is only He who has that kind of power to not only heal, but to do anything. This reminds me of His omnipotence. What a mighty God!

Jesus reminds us that the issue in our lives is our hearts! We cannot look elsewhere, it's our hearts that defile us. It would be hopeless without the indwelling Holy Spirit who gives us a new heart. Praise be to God that he changes us. Now, I must guard my own heart that is still so prone to wander.

The warning in verses 6-9 is one that we need to seriously heed still today. Especially as Americans and Texans who have our traditions and “rights” that we may be prone to put in a more prominent position than God’s Gospel.

The Pharisees were placing their faith in traditions (extra-biblical teachings) rather than the Lord Himself and His word. Father, reveal in me any area where I am putting my faith in something other than you, discipline/purify me to focus only on Christ. And how cool is it that we, as Gentiles, are no longer considered “dogs“ but are now his children?! Thank you, Father! It’s almost Sunday!

I am so thankful for Jesus teaching and ministry here on earth. There is much to learn from it all. God I pray that you would guide my heart and mind. I ask that only things you desire flow through them! Continue to mold me into a man after your own heart. I praise you for your power and might displayed in this chapter! Lord I am tired this morning, may my motives be in the right place, ready to give you glory always. Thank you Father for your Son. Amen!

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