In this passage Jesus was attacking a system which put rules and regulations before the claim of human need (vv. 8-13). The commandment of God was that the claim of human love should come first; the commandment of the scribes was that the claim of legal rules and regulations should come first. Jesus made it plain that any regulation which prevented a man from giving help where help was needed was nothing less than a contradiction of the law of God. We must be careful that we never allow rules to paralyze the claims of love. Nothing that prevents us helping a fellow man can ever be a rule approved by God.In the Old Testament the Pharisees were not only strict in the ceremonial cleanliness of their bodies but gave careful attention to the ceremonial washing of cups, pots and brazen vessels. The Jewish Mishrahas, thirty chapters on just the cleansing of the vessels. These legalists had substituted ceremonial traditions and a formal observance of a list of prescribed rules and regulations for the clear commands of God’s Word. Jesus explained that a man is not defiled by the food he eats but by the wicked thoughts that come from his heart (vv. 14-23). He explained that food does not defile a man because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, where the digestive process takes care of it (keep in mind that the Jew had and still has a whole system of things that are clean and unclean). It is a truly terrible list which Jesus cites of the things that come from the human heart. There is no greater mistake than to identify righteousness with certain so-called religious acts whether it be rules in eating or baptism, etc. When any religious group places more value on the outward than the inward it is hypocrisy and has ceased to be true Christianity.
It is easy to become discouraged because of petty religious issues. What do I do to keep my life free from hypocrisy? I want to be motivated to serve the Lord because of genuine love and not rules.
And he called the people to him again and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand: 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." And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 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, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, "What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."
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Mark 4:1-9Jesus Teaches on Sowing Seed in 4 Types of Soil
Mark 4:10-20Jesus Explained The Parable of The Sower
Mark 4:21-29Jesus Teaches in Parables
Mark 4:30-41The Parable of The Mustard Seed
Mark 5:1-10The Demon Possessed Man at Gerasa
Mark 5:11-20Two Thousand Hogs Drown
Mark 5:21-34Hemorrhaging Woman Healed
Mark 5:35-43Jesus Heals Jairus Daughter
Mark 6:1-6Jesus returns to His home town of Nazareth
Mark 6:7-13Jesus sends His disciples as missionaries
Mark 6:14-29Mark tells about the death of John the Baptist
Mark 6:30-44Feeding of the 5000
Mark 6:45-52Storm on the Sea of Galilee
Mark 6:53-56Crowd wanting to be healed
Mark 7:1-13Conflict with the religious leaders over laws
Mark 7:14-23Jesus attacks a system of rules and regulations
Mark 7:24-30Jesus casts a demon out of a Gentile daughter
Mark 7:31-37Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment
Mark 8:1-9Jesus feeds 4000 with 7 baskets leftover
Mark 8:10-21The Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign from heaven
Mark 8:22-30Jesus heals a blind man gradually
Mark 8:31-38Jesus warns His disciples that He is going to die
Mark 9:1-8Jesus takes 3 of His disciples to a high mountain
Mark 9:9-13Three disciples question about the transfiguration
Mark 9:14-29The disciples are helpless and ineffective
Mark 9:30-37Disciples arguing about who is the greatest
Mark 9:38-50Jesus says greatness comes from serving others.
Mark 10:1-12Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?
Mark 10:13-22Possessions don’t help you obtain eternal life
Mark 10:23-31Hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God
Mark 10:32-45Willingness to give extra service
Mark 10:46-52Every male Jew must attend passover