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Mark 7 Reading Guide

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-23 - Once again the establishment (the Pharisees and law teachers) were "gathered around" Jesus, but they weren't there to learn.

    • They're looking for an excuse to eliminate Jesus, because He's stealing their popularity.

    • They flag the disciples for not ceremonially washing their hands before eating.

      • Jesus points out that this requirement was a man made tradition, not a command from God's Law.

      • Jesus goes on to point out other ways they "let go of the commands of God and hold on human traditions (v8)."

        • One of those abuses of tradition was the way people had been abusing the 'Corban' law (v11):

          • A family was required by God's Law to use their wealth to take care of their elderly parents, a practice which was expensive then just like it is now.

          • To shelter their wealth, a family would designate it as 'Corban,' meaning it was dedicated for God and couldn't be used for other purposes.

          • As soon as the elderly parents had died, they would rescind the Corban status and be able to use the money as they pleased.

        • Corban is just one example of the blatant hypocrisy of the establishment. Notice that when Jesus calls them out on this there's no response.

  • v24-30 - Jesus went on vacation, so to speak. He went up to Tyre, which is North of Israel (so this is Gentile country) right on the Mediterranean coast. He entered a house and wanted to be left alone. But to no avail, "He could not keep His presence a secret (v24)."

    • Jesus encounters a 'Syrophoenician' woman, a fancy way of saying 'Gentile.'

    • Jesus' words to her seem racist, xenophobic and misogynistic to us, but understand the cultural idioms that Jesus used here do not translate well.

      • Although Jesus makes it clear that salvation is first offered to the Jews, what happens next is nothing short of amazing. Once again, a Gentile's faith stands in stark contrast to the lack of faith displayed by the Jews.

      • Not only does Jesus grant her request made in faith, he then travels out to Gentile territory and feeds a large crowd there just as He did in Israel (which we'll read about tomorrow).

  • v31-37 - Jesus leaves Tyre, but stays in Gentile country.

    • Jesus heals a man who couldn't hear or speak.

    • Ironically, Jesus tells this man who's just been given the ability to speak to not say anything.

    • People were literally more amazed and astounded at Jesus than at anything they'd ever seen before.


Jesus only quotes one verse from Isaiah 29 (v13), but as you read this short chapter see how many references and allusions it has to the activities of Jesus recorded in Mark 7.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:

  1. EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: Near the middle of this chapter, Jesus gave a long list of the evil things that come out of a person’s heart. How many of these can you name? (See verses 21–22.)

  2. Review what Jesus says in verses 18–23 about what makes a person “unclean.” If this is what makes us unclean, what makes us clean?

Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is our Father who's actions overwhelm us in amazement (v37)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that the Holy Spirit will dwell in you, so that the words and actions that come out of you will be pure.



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