St Mark 7 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Mark: Mark Chapter Seven: Read here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/mark/7?lang=eng

07 tradtion of elders

The scribes and Pharisees came from Jerusalem to watch Jesus (see Mark 7:1).

They didn’t just wait for Jesus to be in their proximity; they hunted him out so that they could “watch” him.

Tradtion of the Elders in Washing: Read Mark 7:1-16.

The tradition of washing hands, pots, cups, and tables is a good tradition to keep one physically healthy and to not spread disease. It is a tradition of men. Following God’s commandments is far more important than observing the traditions of men. The leaders of the Jewish people had twisted the Law of Moses into making their own traditions of more importance than the commandments of God.

‘Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him,

“Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?”

‘He answered and said unto them,

“Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.”

‘And he said unto them,

“Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition… Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered.”’ (vs. 5-9, 13).

‘And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them,

“Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him, which is food: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear”’ (vs. 14-16, JST)

Explanation for the Parable: Read Mark 17-23:

‘And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.

‘And he saith unto them,

“Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?”

‘And he said,

“That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”’

Are we ever guilty of judging people because their customs are different than ours? Do we judge people solely by their outward appearance, the cleanliness of their skin and clothing? Do we not know that the Lord is more concerned with who we are on the inside? We must be careful to not be whited walls that are covering many evil thoughts and actions.

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness” (Matt 23:27).

Jesus Healed Syrophenician’s Daughter: Read Mark 7: 24-30:

‘And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. (JST—and would that no man should come unto him. But he could not deny them; for he had compassion upon all men.)

For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her,

“Let the children of the kingdom first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.” (JST italicized)

‘And she answered and said unto him,

“Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.”

‘And he said unto her,

“For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.”

‘And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.’

Even though Jesus’s mission was to the Jewish people, He loves all people. He will never deny the faithful; and this woman was faithful. She was not offended in knowing that the Savior’s mission was not to the Greek people first, but she was persistent in her petition and unwavering in her faith and humility.

Jesus Healed Deaf Man with Speech Impediment: Read Mark 7:31-37:

‘And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him,

“Ephphatha,”

‘that is, Be opened.’

‘And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

‘And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; And were beyond measure astonished, saying,

“He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.”’

Though it is difficult not to share great news abroad, sometimes we are asked to give thanks in private. Can we learn to be quietly grateful when we are asked to do so?

‘And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

‘And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; And were beyond measure astonished, saying,

“He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.”’

Though it is difficult not to share great news abroad, sometimes we are asked to give thanks in private. Can we learn to be quietly grateful when we are asked to do so?

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