1 – 3
Some Pharisees and some teachers of the law came from Jerusalem. They gathered around Jesus. They saw that some of Jesus’ followers ate food with hands that were not clean. “Not clean” means that they did not wash their hands in the way the Pharisees said people must.
The Pharisees and all the Jews never eat before washing their hands in this special way. They do this to follow the teaching given to them by the people who lived before them.
What kind of angry God would care more about the way you wash your hands than the way you live your life? There are religions who live this way today. Who would want to know a god who is picking apart every little thing you do so that he can find something to be angry about?
4 – 5
And when the Jews buy something in the market, they never eat it until they wash it in a special way. They also follow other rules of their great people who lived before them. They follow rules about the washing of cups, pitchers, and pots.
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law said to Jesus, “Your followers do not follow the rules given to us by our great people who lived before us. Your followers eat their food with hands that are not clean. Why do they do this?”
Different cultures have different traditions but when these things become more important than caring about other people and our friendship with God then the devil is using these things to keep our minds in the wrong place. Many of these things we do without thinking about why we do them. Be careful that your tradition is not built on something that is not healthy for your spirit!
6 – 8
Jesus answered, “You are all hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he spoke about you. Isaiah wrote, ‘These people show honor to me with words. But their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is worthless. The things they teach are nothing but human rules they have memorized.’
You have stopped following the commands of God. Now you only follow the teachings of men.”
Jesus is showing them that now their traditions have been more important than what God says. Be careful this does not happen to you!
They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that! 2 Timothy 3:5, Isaiah 29:13
9 – 13
Then Jesus said to them: “You think you are clever! You ignore the commands of God so that you can follow your own teachings! Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother.’ Then Moses also said, ‘Anyone who says angry things to his father or mother must be put to death.’
But you teach that a person can say to his father or mother, ‘I have something I could use to help you. But I will not use it for you. I will give it to God.’ You are telling that person that he does not have to do anything for his father or mother.
So you are teaching that it is not important to do what God said. You think that it is more important to follow your own rules, which you teach people. And you do many things like that.”
This is talking about a person who is bitter against his parents. This person is looking for a way to sound like he is not bitter but at the same time hurt his parents. The Jews had a law that said that you could keep from helping your parents if you gave a gift to God.
A person who hates his parents this way could say, “I will give a gift to God instead of helping you. Maybe God will help you because of this gift but I will not help you.”
So now we see that the Jews start with the excuse that they have to follow their tradition. Next they go completely against their own Bible by not honoring their parents as Moses told them to. Finally they have no power in their lives when trouble comes.
14 – 19
Jesus called the people to Him again. He said, “Every person should listen to me and understand what I am saying. There is nothing a person puts into his body that makes him unclean. A person is made unclean by the things that come out of him. Let those with ears use them and listen!”
When Jesus left the people and went inside, his followers asked him about this story. Jesus said, “Do you still have trouble understanding? Surely you know that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him unclean.
Food does not go into a person’s mind. Food goes into his stomach. Then that food goes out of his body.” When Jesus said this, He meant that there is no food that is unclean for people to eat.
The Jews were trying to say that the followers of Jesus were not clean because they did things that non-Jews did.
This anger was not really about food. The Jews wanted to control people. The only way they could do this was to make their own laws and pretend that they were also God’s laws.
The Jews did not want to be a witness to the world of God’s ways and they did not want the world to know God. They were so full of hate that they kept non-Jews away from even the outer temple area.
20 – 23
And Jesus said, “The things that come out of a man are the things that make him unclean. All these evil things begin inside a person, in the mind: evil imaginations, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, selfishness, doing bad things to other people, lying, doing sinful things, jealousy, saying bad things about people, pride, and foolish living.
All these evil things come from inside of a person. These things make a person unclean.”
We can see all these evil things on the internet and many other places. These things go inside of us and make us imagine what it would be like. We do not need any more problems than what we already have. Why would we want to invite evil into our minds?
No matter what you may think the real world knows that if you put garbage in you will get garbage out!
A good person produces good things from the treasure of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasure of an evil heart. What you say comes from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45
24 – 27
Jesus left that place and went to the area around Tyre. He went into a house and did not want anyone to know He was there. But Jesus could not stay hidden. A woman heard that He was there. Her little daughter had an evil spirit in her. So the woman quickly came to Jesus and fell at His feet. She was not Jewish. She was Greek, born in Phoenicia, in Syria. She begged Jesus to send the demon out of her daughter.
Jesus told the woman: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dear little dogs. First let the children eat.”
The Jews call anyone who is not Jewish an evil dog. Jesus did not use the same word that the Jews used. He showed the woman that she was important but that she would have to trust Him in what He was saying.
28 – 30
She answered, “That is true, Lord. But the little dogs under the table can eat the pieces of food that the children do not eat.”
Then Jesus said, “Because of your words you may go. The demon has left your daughter.” The woman went home and found her daughter lying in bed. The demon was gone.
Who knows? Maybe God will change His mind if you ask Him with a clean heart. You will never know if you do not ask.
Matthew shows us that Jesus said, "Oh, woman, great is thy faith!" Matthew 15:28
And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. Luke 11:9
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13
31 – 32
Then Jesus left the area around Tyre. He went through Sidon to Lake Galilee, to the area of the Ten Towns. While he was there, some people brought a man to him. This man was deaf and could not talk. The people begged Jesus to put his hand on the man to heal him.
Before this these people begged Jesus to leave but the man who had been healed in Mark 5 had prepared the way because they could see that the amazing change in his life was real.
33 – 35
Jesus led the man away from the crowd, to be alone with him. Jesus put His fingers in the man’s ears. Then Jesus spit and touched the man’s tongue.
Jesus looked up to heaven and took a deep breath. He said to the man, “Ephphatha!” This means, “Be opened.” When Jesus did this, the man was able to hear. He was also able to use his tongue, and he spoke clearly.
The man could not hear or speak so Jesus was carefully showing him what He was going to do to him. The Jews had some stories that even the Messiah’s spit would have power so maybe Jesus was using this to speak to their minds?
36 – 37
Jesus commanded the people not to tell anyone about what happened. But the more he commanded them, the more they told about it. They were really amazed. They said, “Jesus does everything well. He makes the deaf hear! And those who cannot talk, Jesus makes them able to speak.”
The people of the world do not have the job of bringing the Gospel because they are not saved. They would give a mixed message. Jesus tells them not to go and tell what He has done. He tells us to go and tell but we stay quiet.