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Mark 7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 7:17-23 – How to Defile the Heart

Mark 7:17-23 – How to Defile the Heart

|| Matthew 15:10-20[1]

MK7:17 Now when he left the crowd and entered into the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. MK7:18 Then Jesus told them: “Are you without understanding? Do you not comprehend? Whatever enters a person cannot defile. MK7:19 For it does not enter the heart, but rather the stomach, and after through it into the sewer.” (Thus, Jesus proclaimed all foods clean.)[2] MK7:20 And he continued: “It is what comes out of a person that defiles a person. MK7:21 For it is from the inside, from a person’s heart that harmful thinking[3] proceeds:[4] sexual immorality, thievery, murder, MK7:22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, loose conduct, evil eyes, blasphemy, arrogance, unreasonableness. MK7:23 All of these wicked things issue from within and defile a person.”

*

[1] Matthew 15:10-20: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Jesus proclaimed all foods clean: The subject is food and the handling of it. Here Mark adds an inspired interpretation of the conclusion reached. There are no kosher foods or drinks to the Christian. [Compare notes on Luke 11:41; Acts 10:15; Romans 14:17.] See also 1 Corinthians 10:25.

[3] Harmful thinking: Or, evil thoughts, designs of evil, injurious reasons. Sin begins in the mind. [James 1:14, 15]

[4] Proceeds: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew and the items in this list. Mark adds a few.

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Preceding

Mark 7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 7:1-8 – Vain Worship and Human Doctrines

Mark 7 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 7:9-16 – Invalidating God’s Word

Matthew 15:1-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Tradition and the Heart

Matthew 23:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 5: Greed and Unclean

Matthew 23:25-26 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Woe 5: Greed and Uncleanness

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Additional reading

  1. Today’s thought “Out of the heart … come …” (February 11)
  2. Today’s thought “Out of the heart of man come …” (August 12)

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Review Questions on Chapter Four

Review Questions on Chapter Four

  • How did Jesus teach?
  • What is necessary to understand?
  • Describe some of Jesus’ parables.
  • What do you think they meant?
  • What did Jesus do that frightened his disciples?

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Preceding

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:1-9 – Teaching in Parables

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:10-13 – How Will You Understand?

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:14-20 – Sower Parable Explained

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:21-23 – Light Exposes

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:24, 25 – Hearing and Responsibility

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:26-29 – The Sleeping Farmer

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:30-32 – Kingdom Like a Mustard Seed

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:33-34 – Public Parables, Private Teachings

Mark 4 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 4:35-41 – Who is This?

 

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Related articles

  1. Great Big Things
  2. What Do These Stories Do In Us?
  3. Awareness, Knowledge, Understanding, & Wisdom

Matthew 15:1-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Tradition and the Heart

CHAPTER FIFTEEN:
TRADITION AND THE HEART, GIVING CRUMBS TO PUPPIES,
FEEDING 4000

[“The Mouth and the Heart”]
(Key Word: Traditions)

Matthew 15:1-20 – Tradition and the Heart

|| Mark 7:1-23

MT15:1 Now scribes[1] and Pharisees from Jerusalem[2] approached Jesus, saying, “Why do your disciples[3] transgress the traditions of the Ancients?[4] MT15:2 For they do not wash their hands[5] when eating bread.” MT15:3 Jesus responded to them, asking, MT15:4 “For The God said, ‘Honor your father and mother.’[6] [Exodus 20:12] And also, ‘Let the person who says a bad word against[7] father or mother be put to death.’ [Leviticus 20:9] MT15:5 But you teach, ‘Whatever I have to help[8] my father or mother is a Temple-offering consecrated to God’[9] – MT15:6 such a person does not honor[10] father at all. You have invalidated the Word[11] of The God by your own tradition. MT15:7 Hypocrites, Isaiah gave a good prophecy[12] about you when he said, MT15:8 ‘This people honors Me with their lips but their heart is distant. MT15:9 Their worship is worthless[13] because they teach human commandments as doctrine.’” [Isaiah 29:13] MT15:10 Now Jesus called the crowd to gather close, telling them, “Listen carefully and understand:[14] MT15:11 Not what enters the mouth defiles a person,[15] but what pours out of the mouth defiles a person.” MT15:12 Now the disciples approached Jesus, telling him, “Do you know you offended the Pharisees[16] by what they heard you say?” MT15:13 Jesus answered them, “Every plant[17] not planted by my Father will be pulled out by the roots. MT15:14 Leave them alone.[18] They are blind guides.[19] So, if someone blind guides another blind person, they will both fall into a pit.” MT15:15 Peter responded to Jesus, “Make the parable clear to us.” MT15:16 Jesus told them, “Are you still without understanding?[20] MT15:17 Are you unaware that everything entering the mouth passes through the belly[21] and is expelled into a sewer?[22] MT15:18 But the words pouring out of the mouth originate from the heart.[23] Those are the things which defile a person. MT15:19 For it is from the heart these originate:[24] evil dialogue,[25] murders, adulteries,[26] fornications,[27] thieveries,[28] perjuries and slander,[29] abusive speech.[30] MT15:20 These are the things defiling a person. Eating with unwashed hands does not defile a person.”

*

[1] Scribes: BECK: Bible scholars.

[2] From Jerusalem: Over 100 miles.

[3] Your disciples: They do not accuse Jesus. Had these Jews witnessed some habit of the disciples not to ceremonial wash their hands before eating? Or, is this a rumor?

[4] Transgress the traditions of the Ancients: Or, GDSP: break the rules handed down by our ancestors; KJV: elders.

[5] Wash their hands: Or, AMP: for they do not practice [ceremonially] washing. Compare 2 Kings 3:11. “The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands up to the elbow.” (Mark 7:2-5) The Babylonian Talmud (Sotah 4b) places eating with unwashed hands equal to intercourse with a prostitute.

[6] Honor your father and mother: From the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12; 21:17). Paul also quotes the “first commandment with a promise.” (Ephesians 6:2) The English word “honor” is from the Greek TIMA from which the name Timothy comes.

[7] Says a bad word against: Or, KJV: curseth; ASV: speaketh evil of; NWT: reviles. Jesus quotes Leviticus 20:9. Compare Leviticus 20:9; Deuteronomy 27:16.

[8] Whatever I have to help: ASV: that wherewith thou mightest have been profited by me; RIEU: all the support you might have; RSV: what you would have gained from me; GDSP: anything of mine that might have been of use to you.

[9] Is a Temple-offering consecrated to God: ASV: is given to God; RIEU: temple-offering. The New Jerusalem Bible footnote explains: “Property thus made over by vow assumes a sacred character.… Such a vow in fact was only a legal fiction.… Though the rabbis acknowledged its impiety they sustained its validity.”

[10] Does not honor: Jesus infers this “honor” is of a material kind not a mere matter of respect. The children who do not care for elderly parents dishonor them and violate the commandment. Compare 1 Timothy 5:4, 8. The Greek word TIME means honor, esteem, value, or preciousness. The verb TIMAO also means “set a price on” (Matthew 27:9); the noun TIME caries the sense of price or value (Matthew 27:6; Acts 4:34); and the adjective TIMIOS means esteemed, dear, or valuable (Acts 5:34; 20:24; 1 Corinthians 3:12).

[11] You have invalidated the Word: Or, MOF: you have repealed the law of God; GDSP: you have nullified what God has said; PME: empties the commandment.

[12] Isaiah gave a good prophecy: The quote is of Isaiah 29:13. The context in Isaiah is also referenced by Romans 11:9; Colossians 2:22; 1 Corinthians 1:19. Or, KJV: well did Esaias prophesy; MOF: it was indeed of you that Isaiah prophesied; PME: Isaiah described you beautifully; RIEU: how right Isaiah was.

[13] Their worship is worthless: Or, WMS: their worship of me is an empty show.

[14] Listen carefully and understand: Or, KNX: listen to this, and grasp what it means.

[15] Defiles a person: Or, PME: makes him common or unclean.

[16] You offended the Pharisees: Or, ME: are deeply offended; GDSP: were shocked to hear you. The disciples seem concerned by Jesus did not come to please everyone. The Greek word here is ESCANDALISTHESAN: they thought what he said scandalous.

[17] Every plant: He infers the scribes and Pharisees.

[18] Leave them alone: Or, KNX: let them say what they will.

[19] Blind guides: Or, KJV: blind leaders. Knowing what he has already said was offensive, the Nazarene comes back with an even more direct inference.

[20] Are you still without understanding: Or, RHM: without discernment; GDSP: have even you no understanding; BAS: are you, like them, still without wisdom; RIEU: You too? Still so dull? Jesus is not caring one twit whose toes he steps on: either the clergy or his own disciples. Raised to respect the clergy, it is possible the disciples do not yet discern the gulf which exists between Jesus and the religious hierarchy.

[21] Passes through the belly: Or, WEY: stomach; NWT: intestines.

[22] Expelled into a sewer: WEY: afterwards ejected from the body; NWT: discharged into the sewer.

[23] Originate from the heart: NEB: has its origins in the heart; PME: comes from his heart and mind. Compare James 1:14, 15.

[24] These originate: Mark 7:20, 21 adds several characteristics: “injurious reasonings issue forth: fornications, thieveries, murders, adulteries, covetings, acts of wickedness, deceit, loose conduct, an envious eye, blasphemy, haughtiness, unreasonableness.” (NWT)

[25] Evil dialogue: The Greek is DIALOGISMOI PONEROI. Or, KJV: evil thoughts; KNX: wicked designs.

[26] Adulteries: Or, BAS: broken faith between the married.

[27] Fornications: The Greek is PORNEIAI and is drawn from “prostitution.” Or, MOF: sexual vice; GDSP: immorality; BAS: unclean desires of the flesh.

[28] Thieveries: MOF: stealing.

[29] Perjuries and slander: Or, KJV: false witness; NWT: false testimonies.

[30] Abusive speech: The Greek is BLASPHEMIAI. Or, KJV: blasphemies; ASV: railings; RHM: profane speaking; WEY: slander.

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Preceding

Matthew 14:35-36 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: If They Might Just Touch Him

Matthew 15 An argument with the Scribes – Teachers and traditions

Matthew 15 Calvin’s view

Matthew 15 Spurgeon’s view

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Related

  1. Matthew 15, defilement from within, the faith of the Caananite woman, Jesus feeds the four thousand.
  2. When What to Eat is More Important Than What to Say
  3. Matthew 15丨C. H. Spurgeon
  4. “Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?” ~Religious scholars to Jesus
  5. unclean
  6. Out of The Mouth
  7. “Frauds!” ~Jesus
  8. Doctrine vs. Tradition
  9. Hypocrisy — Its Expression through Insincere Motives
  10. Hypocrisy — What happens when my deeds do not match my words?
  11. False Doctrine — Is it of human origin and not from Jesus the Messiah?

Matthew 13:18-23 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable of the Seed and Soil

Matthew 13:18-23 – Parable of the Seed and Soil

|| Mark 4:13-20; Luke 8:11-15

MT13:18 “So, you [disciples], listen [to the meaning] of the parable[1] of the Sower. MT13:19 Anyone hearing the kingdom message[2] and failing to understand,[3] the Evil One[4] comes and steals[5] those things sown in the heart[6] – this is the seed sown beside the road. MT13:20 Now, the seed sown on the gravel – this is a person who at first hearing accepts [the message] with joy.[7] MT13:21 But, because of having no inner roots nothing lasts,[8] for as soon as oppression or persecution[9] occurs because of the message[10] the person stumbles.[11] MT13:22 Now, the one sown among thorns – this is the person who hears the message[12] but the anxieties of that Period[13] and deceptive riches[14] choke the message[15] and the person is unproductive.[16] MT13:23 However, the seed sown in good soil – this is the person who hears the message and understands and actually is productive:[17] one person a hundred times, another person sixty times, and another thirty times.”

*

[1] Listen [to the meaning] of the parable: Or, WEY: I will explain the parable. Evidently only directed to his disciples.

[2] Kingdom message: TCNT: the Message of the Kingdom; KNX: the word by which the kingdom is preached. This is the “word” (LOGOS) about the Realm of Heaven: the opportunity for membership within the realm of profession.

[3] Failing to understand: Or, NJB: without understanding; KIT: not comprehending; NWT: does not get the sense of. It is difficult to accept that the literal words carry the exact meaning. It is possible the Nazarene’s intent is: ‘hearing the message without attempting to understand it.’ Mark 4:15 omits the part about failing to understand. Luke 8:12 merely has “heard.”

[4] Evil One: The Greek is PONEROS. Or, KJV: wicked one.

[5] Steals: The Greek is HARPAZEI which means to “snatch” or “grab.” Or, GDSP: robs him; KJV: catcheth away; ASV: snatcheth away. The word is related to that one in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and the Rapture. Compare also Philippians 2:6.

[6] Things sown in the heart: GDSP: sown in his mind. Something has germinated but likely this person only shows a cursory interest without the inner person being moved to further effort. There is an initial interest but for a variety of self-rationalizations the kingdom theme does not strike a cord in the heart.

[7] At first hearing accepts [the message] with joy: Or, KJV: and anon with joy receiveth it; TCNT: at once accepts it joyfully; MOF: with enthusiasm. There is some follow through by this person who hears and “receives” the kingdom message – but without conviction. Luke 8:12, “they may not believe and be saved.” There may be a degree of interest resulting in joyful gladness. How far this disciple matures is not explained (Luke says there is no belief) but it appears this is a neophyte about to face realities.

[8] Having no inner roots nothing lasts: Literally, this may read: “but he has no root in himself but is transitory.” (UBSInt) Or, KJV: hath not root in himself; GDSP: takes no real root; NEB: strikes no root. Whatever initial joy the person had in the kingdom message no serious effort was forthcoming to cause the “word” to take hold. Some take up Christian discipleship but within a short time run out of enthusiasm. “Nothing lasts” may also be rendered: KJV: dureth for a while; TCNT: stands for only a short time; RIEU: he cannot hold out long. Mark 4:15 has it, “they continue for a time.” And, Luke 8:12, “they believe for a season.” The Christian walk is not a sprint but a marathon. It has been observed that many Christians “last” only three years before slowing down with some grinding to a halt. Consider word studies on endurance.

[9] Oppression or persecution: The Greek for “oppression” is THLIPSEOS (Matthew 24:20, 21) and here related to “persecution.” Or, WEY: when suffering comes. Luke 8:13 has this, “a season of testing.” From the very beginning Christianity knew only persecution and oppression. Despite the joy of accepting the kingdom message the high cost of discipleship takes its toll.

[10] Because of the message: The reason for the oppression or tribulation is not that caused by Life itself. The difficulties are related to the kingdom message.

[11] The person stumbles: Or, KJV: is offended; WEY: turns against it; MOF: at once repelled; RIEU: promptly recants; NOR: at once gives it up. The Greek is SCANDALIZETAI. Luke 8:13 has it, “they fall away (or, stand off).” A word study, stumble or stumblingblock.

[12] Hears the message: This disciple listens but will come against other problems.

[13] The anxieties of that Period: The Greek may also mean “overly concerned.” The word “period” is rendered from the Greek AIONOS which is also rendered: KJV: world; RHM: age; TCNT: life. Each age or period of human history and existence has its own particularly anxieties or concerns. Those of Jesus’ period may not be the same as in the modern period. On the matter of anxiety or being overly concerned see notes on Matthew 6:20-33. GDSP: the worries of the time. Luke 8:14 has it, “by being carried away by anxieties.”

[14] Deceptive riches: Or, KJV: the deceitfulness of riches; TCNT: the glamour of wealth; LAM: the deception caused by riches; MOF: the delight of being rich; RIEU: the lure of riches. The word “rich” describes that person with a surplus and the leisure time that goes with it. Jesus uses the words often and it is worthy of a word study on rich, riches, or, money. The word “rich” is also an interesting one to explore in an unabridged dictionary. Compare 1Timothy 6:17-19. Luke 8:15 adds, “pleasures of this life.” And, Mark 4:18 includes, “the desires for the rest of the things.” (Compare 1 John 2:15-17)

[15] Choke the message: Or, strangle, smother; BAS: put a stop to.

[16] The person is unproductive: Or, KJV: unfruitful; TCNT: it gives no return. Compare John 15:1-10; 2 Peter 1:5-8. What fruit or produce is Jesus expecting? Surely the main emphasis is on what a person does with the kingdom message regarding others. It would seem likely that it would also involve “fruitage of the spirit” and its manifestations (Galatians 5:22, 23).

[17] Hears the message and understands and actually is productive: There are three parts here: listening to the kingdom message, achieving some understanding or comprehension, and then bearing fruitage or evidence the message has taken root. Or, TCNT: really yields a return; BECK: goes on producing good things. Note, however, that this production or fruitage is not the same for all genuine Friends of the Nazarene (John 15:14). Like the “widow’s mite” it depends on individuality and circumstances, as well as a heart driven by faith. Perhaps one of the most outstanding examples of producing a hundred-fold is the apostle Paul (Romans 1:13). Paul defines Christian fruitage: Sharing (Romans 15:27, 28; Philippians 1:22); holiness (Romans 6:21); goodness, righteousness, truth (Ephesians 5:9); good work ad knowledge (Colossians 1:10); praise and charity (Hebrews 13:15).

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Preceding

Matthew 5:38-42 – 5. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 21:24

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:16-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Happy Eyes and Ears

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Related

  1. Spiritual Plague-the blindness of mechanical religion
  2. Are You Too Busy?

Matthew 13:10-15 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Why Speak in Parables?

Matthew 13:10-15 – Why Speak in Parables?

|| Mark 4:10-12, 25; Luke 8:9-10, 18

MT13:10 And the disciples approached and asked Jesus: “Why do you speak by means of parables?” MT13:11 Jesus responded by saying, “You [disciples] have been permitted[1] to know the mysteries[2] of the Realm of Heaven,[3] but to those [people] it has not been granted.[4] MT13:12 For whoever possesses[5] will be made to abound even more;[6] and whoever possesses nothing, even that will be removed. MT13:13 For this reason I speak to them in parables: because though looking they do not see; and, though hearing, they do not comprehend.[7] MT13:14 Thus is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah,[8] which says, ‘Hearing you will hear but not comprehend; and observing you will look but not see. MT13:15 The heart of this people is become thick,[9] and with their ears heard with irritation.[10] They closed their eyes, so they would never [really] see; and their ears would never hear, and their hearts never comprehend – and they turn around[11] and I heal them.’[12] [Isaiah 6:9, 10]

*

[1] You [disciples] have been permitted: Or, KJV: it is given unto you; PME: you have been given the chance. By means of their discipleship to the Nazarene they have been granted a favored position to hear and understand.

[2] Know the mysteries: The Greek is GNONAI TA MYSTERIA. Or, TCNT: the knowledge of the hidden truths; PME: to understand he secrets of. This is the only context where Jesus’ translators use “mystery.” (Luke 8:10) Paul uses the word 1 Corinthians 4:1; 13:2; 14:2; Ephesians 3:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:7. The word also appears in Revelation 10:7; 17:5, 7.

[3] Realm of Heaven: Or, Kingdom of the Heavens. In Luke this is “kingdom of God.” Some would apply this term to the celestial realm where God resides. It is strongly possible, however, that the phrase refers to the realm, domain, or territory over which Messiah reigns. Some have called this “the realm of profession.” Jesus is talking about that “congregation” (church) he will build and the opportunities of gaining membership with all its rights and privileges (Matthew 16:18). Jesus is about to give several parables that explain truths about the development and evolution of his Church and those members within it.

[4] To those [people] it has not been granted: Did Jesus gesture toward the beach crowd? Perhaps the disciples were so arranged only they heard this statement. Likely the crowd included the enemies of the Lord and what follows applies to them.

[5] Whoever possesses: Or, KJV: whoever hath; MON: whoever holds; NOR: if a man has possessions.

[6] Made to abound even more: Or, KJV: have more abundance; MON: more shall be given; NOR: he will get more until he has more than enough. The Nazarene’s disciples possess a privilege and responsibility within the group of his disciples. This is only the beginning, for according to their proper use of what they have, they will receive even more.

[7] They do not comprehend: The crowd has no taken the step of following the Lord as one of his disciples. They will hear the parables but not understand without an explanation by Jesus. Or, KJV: neither do they understand; BAS: the sense is not clear.

[8] The prophecy of Isaiah: This is a quotation of Isaiah 6:9, 10. This portion of Isaiah is also quoted at Acts 28:26, 27 and John 12:40. Some scholars believe Matthew and John are quoting from different original texts. Matthew adhering to the Greek text and John to the consonantal Hebrew text.

[9] Heart of this people is become thick: Or, KJV: heart is waxed gross; WEY: this people’s mind is stupefied; GDSP: this nations mind has grown dull. Jesus has already laid a heavy burden on his generation, calling it adulterous (apostate) and destined for a difficult judgment (Matthew 12:39). The Jewish hierarchy is particularly close-minded and their conscience (or, heart) will surely harden more and more until that fateful day when they scream, “Crucify him!”

[10] Heard with irritation: Or, KJV: dull of hearing; GDSP: hear faintly.

[11] They turn around: Or, KJV: be converted.

[12] I heal them: The Nazarene does not mean himself. The “I” is Yehowah in Isaiah 6. “Them” is the nation of Israel. This is a judgment on the generation or the entire nation, not individuals.

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Preceding

Matthew 13 – Parables on Kingdom mysteries

Matthew 13:1-9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Parable: the Soil and the Seed

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Additional reading

  1. Congregation – Congregatie
  2. The Question is this…

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Related
  1. The mysterious journey towards God
  2. Of Sheep and Parables
  3. Class: Parables of Jesus, Matthew 13
  4. Upside Down Kingdom Parables: No Cost Too Great
  5. Parables of Jesus
  6. Understanding Parables

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