The Persistence Of God’s Servant
Tolerating His Enemies and His Disciples
Book of Mark Chapter 7
As we have been seeing Jesus has been drawing a huge multitude of followers. He was not allowed to teach in the synagogues so they were basically empty on the Sabbath.
The Lord Jesus Christ had gotten the attention of the religious leaders in Jerusalem.
We should ask ourselves, What was the oral law or we could say "tradition"?
A tradition is any kind of teaching, whether written or spoken, that was handed down from generation to generation.
"Traditions", are not inspired by God!
God gave certain ordinances that were to be kept by all generations of the Jew but these "traditions" were laws of man!
Most of these traditions were arbitrary interpretations of the written Word of God.
God gave us one rule for these things:
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
No true prophesy can come from private reasoning of man, oral or written!
We may not understand the meaning or the intent of God’s Word in regard to our own situation but it’s ultimate meaning involves far more than that.
This would be especially true of prophecy concerning the Messiah but this also applies to all scripture!
2Ti 3:16 "All scripture" is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
We simply cannot allow self interpretation to over rule the written Word of God.
*****Mar 7:1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
Satan now begins this assault that will end with his defeat at the cross!
The religious establishment begins an all out assault on the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are wars and there are rumors of wars but there is still an unending all out assault on the Lord Jesus Christ going on still today. This I cannot understand from so-called non-believers.
They knew of His teachings.
They knew of the large crowds.
They knew that some wanted to make Him king.
They had heard of His miracles.
They did not come for the truth, they came to put and end to this One Called Jesus of Nazareth!
They had traveled 80 miles in an attempt, to ridicule and destroy the "Truth"!
*****Mar 7:2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
Mar 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
Mar 7:4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.
The Pharisees believed that the written law had been given of God to Moses!
But they also believed that "the traditions" passed down by the elders were also given by God Himself!
They allowed these traditions to box in the Word of God, making the written Word of God to have no effect.
It was "these traditions" that grew to control human actions to the Word of God.
We could look at this as just common sense. "It is" proper for our own health to wash before we eat but this was not the intent of these Pharisees.
Traditional washings had very little to do with dirty hands!
The sole purpose of ritual washings was because, as these super religious men went about their daily routine they may have come in contact with a Gentile at the market or some other ritually unclean person or thing.
Under these conditions they were required "by tradition" to wash away the profane and purify themselves and they made a great show of it!
This not a soap and water thing, this more just a dipping of the hands in water. (Baptizing the hands)
That word "defiled" meant "common" or in other words "unholy"!
What we should realize is, that these of false religion could not find fault in any thing Jesus did except for violating their traditions!
Job had a clear understanding that these ritual washings could never make a man clean in the eyes of God.
Job 9:30 If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean;
Job 9:31 Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.
Nor could these ritual washings actually clean cups, pots, brass vessels, nor tables!
We can only be cleaned by the "Living Water" as Jesus told that poor woman at the well!
Joh 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
Joh 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
*****Mar 7:5 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?
These hypocrites believed they finally had something important to bring down the Son of God.
He allowed His disciples to eat with dirty hands!
Never mind Jesus was "that" Prophet, spoken of by Moses.
Never mind Jesus had spoken with the Authority from on High.
Never mind Jesus had shown the Power of God.
Never mind Jesus had fulfilled the written Word of God.
Never mind Jesus went about doing good.
Never mind no one could find faults in Him.
Jesus allowed His disciples to eat with dirty hands so there was no way Jesus could be the Messiah!
And Jesus said these words.
*****Mar 7:6 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.
Mar 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Mar 7:8 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.
What is a hypocrite?
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Notice the Bible says we will see this more and more as we come to the last days.
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
This cannot be denied!
As religious circles give over to accepting the gay lifestyle, accepting abortion, accepting the women behind the pulpits, removing prayer in the name of Jesus and allowing the world to come inside the Church, and so many other things and then saying they love God, they are hypocrites and liars.
God has these words for all these so-called Christians:
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
I suggest to you these that do these things get them a new copy of the KJV Bible and read it again!
God says to stay away from these sort!
These people are in the hands of the Holy Ghost.
The Bible says:
2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
2Ti 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
2Ti 2:26 And "that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil", who are taken captive by him at his will.
God does not stop there but adds these words:
1Ti 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:
1Ti 6:21 "Which some professing have erred concerning the faith". Grace be with thee. Amen
And these words:
Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences "contrary to the doctrine" which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18 "For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ", but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
These hypocrites have an agenda that goes against the Word of God!
And Jesus added these words.
*****Mar 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
These are so called religious men reject the Word of God and make up there own version of commandments for all people!
How can we dare to sin against Our Savior by accepting His Words of Salvation and then reject His teaching?
How can we go to God in prayer and then refuse to serve Him?
God’s Law amounted to nothing to these men when compared to their own man made laws.
We should totally understand what God says about this matter because this is another sign of the end times!
Isa 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
This is the "spirit of the Anti-Christ at work in our world:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; "and even now already is it in the world".
What is the spirit of the Anti-Christ?
Dan 7:25 And "he shall speak great words against the most High", and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
2Th 2:4 "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God", or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
When will the Lord return to this Earth?
Psa 119:126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: "for they have made void thy law".
There are so many perverted, versions of God’s Word today and most everyone of them do exactly what these Pharisees and scribes were doing this day of Jesus!
They lay aside the commandment of God to hold onto the traditions of men!
When God’s Law ceases to become our standard to live by, it becomes a system that man can manipulate and control!
And Jesus gives them an example.
*****Mar 7:10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
Mar 7:11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
Mar 7:12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
Mar 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
What had Moses said?
What was the 5th commandment?
Exo 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
What is "honor"? To revere, to respect, and perform relative duties to!
This commandment comes with an added blessing. "That thy days may be long"
This law was as clear as could be, so there would be no misunderstanding!
Moses made this law even clearer:
Lev 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
Every child could read the Word of God and understand what was said about their parents!
A choice could be made.
There was the prospect of long life or the prospect of swift and sudden death!
But God’s law had been rejected for a new man made law.
"If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free"
What is Corban? This is a gift or an offering devoted or dedicated for God’s use.
In this day of Jesus, when an offering was given to the Temple, by pronouncing that gift as "Corban" the gift then belonged to the Temple, "but only in word".
That offering or that gift remained in the possession of the person who made the vow!
A son would say to his parents that he had dedicated his abundance to God and had no extra to help them in their old age.
Remember this was the duty of the first born son and passed on to any other son at his death.
So, a tradition takes no commitment from the heart and is therefore not true worship!
What does God expect from us?
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
When a tradition is not true worship, then it becomes a precept of man and it is "Worship That Is Vain"!
This was only one example as Jesus ended here by saying that they had many such things as this that they did!
This tendency to distort or negate or even augment Scripture by our own self interpretation happens more today than this day of the Pharisee!
God sends us many warnings against tampering with His Inspired Word!
In fact God has given us His completed Word and He gives us this warning:
Rev 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
A child can also read this and find it very clear.
God is serious about any changes to His Inspired Word!
Then Jesus warned all who were within the sound of His voice this day.
*****Mar 7:14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:
Mar 7:15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
Mar 7:16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
There was very little hope that the religious leaders of Israel would change their ways so Jesus spoke directly to the people.
We should also consider that the Jews also had a special dietary plan but Jesus still said this to them:
"There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him"
Jesus had just literally set aside the whole Mosaic idea of clean and unclean foods!
Jesus said to "Hearken" or "hear" and "understand".
Jesus was not talking about poisoned or tainted food.
Jesus was speaking of ritual defilement which comes from the heart!
There is nothing that comes from an external source that can separate us from God!
Only what comes from our inner being can prevent us from true worship of the Lord God Almighty!
Uncleanness comes from within and it cannot be washed away with ritual washing!
Uncleanness can only be washed away by the Blood of Our Lord!
Rev 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood",
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
And again Jesus cautions all within the sound of His voice to hear what He was saying.
*****Mar 7:17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
Mar 7:18 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;
Mar 7:19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
When we do not clearly understand what God is saying we need to ask for help.
The number one best place to look for the answers we need is the Word of God!
The Bible is it’s own best commentary!
Observing some ritual does not affect nor change the moral state or the character of any man!
Only the body of flesh can be affected by rituals, Not the soul!
It is what is in a man’s heart where we can find the true character of any man!
Matthew tells us that this was Peter who asked Jesus to explain this better but we should know that the other 11 would encourage Peter to be the spokesman for them all.
God expects us to think through what He says and not just act on impulse.
After all, "it is the truth that makes us free" and not "traditions"!
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
The "draught" is only a toilet or the sewer system of that day.
*****Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
Mar 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
Mar 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
What is the true source of defilement?
The world we live today cannot seem to grasp what Jesus is saying because, the world does not want to hear these things that prove our guilt before a Holy God!
We live in a time of growing immorality and this shows the character of the world during these last days!
The source of all evil is the heart!
It is in the heart where sin develops before it is exposed by sight to the world.
1.) The first thing Jesus mentions is evil thoughts.
The mind is the intellectual part of man. When man’s mind is continuously on evil, then that man is in a sad state. It is this state of mind that leads to this list of defilements.
What is the state of the world we live in?
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
Jesus had these words:
Mat 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
Mat 5:28 But I say unto you, "That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her" hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
2.) Adulteries happen between the married. Our divorce rate in America is over 60% and this is the main cause.
3.) Fornications happen between the unmarried. Sexual immorality rules our young people. In fact according to the Greek word used here "porneia", this would also include adulteries and incest.
People refuse to get married and just live together. Separations from these unions are also more than 60%.
4.) Murders, people killing people. Some say murders are decreasing in America but sadly the incident of murder among people that know each other is on the rise.
Mat 10:21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
5.) Thefts means stealing!
6.) Covetousness means not just wanting what other have, but also fraud and extortion and greed.
7.) Wickedness is wickedness but also depravity and malice.
8.) That word "Deceit", comes from the word decoy and it also means crafty, guile, and subtlety.
9.) Lasciviousness means filthy wantonness and lewdness. (Hint: go to a "gay rights parade" and you can see this with your own eyes)
10.) An evil eye means someone who takes a degenerative and immoral view of all things!
11.) Blasphemy is speaking evil against Jehovah God, The Lord Jesus Christ!
12.) Pride is haughtiness having contempt for others. Making yourself to be better than all others.
13.) Foolishness means senselessness, egotism, recklessness. Stupidity!
What is God’s answer for the believer?
1Pe 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
Defilement in it’s simplest form means spiritually unclean in the eyes of God!
*****Mar 7:24 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.
Tyre and Sidon were located in the old nation of Phoenicia. This land is now called Lebanon.
"And Jesus could not be hid"!
Some people cannot be hid because they are birthed into royalty, or they inherit a fortune, or they possess some great talent.
But Jesus Christ was only a poor carpenter from a despised region called Nazareth!
Why could Jesus not be hid?
1.) Jesus came to save the lost.
Luk 19:10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
2.) Jesus came to fulfill all prophecy on Him.
Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
3.) Jesus came to preach the "Gospel"!
Mar 1:38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.
4.) Jesus came to do miracles.
Joh 7:31 And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?
Jesus Christ could not be hid because of who He was!
A Christian cannot be hid if we are truly like the Lord Jesus Christ!
But, there was another reason Jesus had come to this place.
*****Mar 7:25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:
Mar 7:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.
Mar 7:27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.
Mar 7:28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.
Mar 7:29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.
Mar 7:30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
The Greek word used for this "young daughter" means that this was a little girl, certainly not yet a teenager or damsel but probably also not a toddler.
But the facts are that Satan’s helpers, these evil spirits, will attack a child as well as those of any age!
This woman was a Gentile born in the Phoenician part of Syria and Jesus would simply test her "faith".
Jesus will still test our faith today!
This Gentile woman knew that Jesus had the power to help her, she just did not know if He was willing.
The world can look anywhere they want for salvation but salvation can only come through this Jew named Jesus!
We are to believe on who Jesus, in His Spirit and in His flesh!
The Atheist can say there is no God but just as the Jew, they have not realized they have a need for the real God!
Again without "faith" we can never please Our Lord!
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
There will be no reward for those that do not seek The Lord Jesus Christ!
To the Jew, all Gentiles were as dogs, fit only for the scrapes of this world!
Some will say Jesus had not come for the Gentiles but we should still be aware that Jesus was still training these 12 who would begin the Church.
It is true "faith" God is seeking!
This woman had already shown some "faith" by openly approaching the Lord.
This woman would not now be rejected, because she knew of His goodness!
Jesus had sent these 12 out strictly to the Jews already but Jesus would soon be sending them throughout all the world!
They could have no doubt that "Faith" was the key to salvation!
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
This woman would not now run off because Jesus said she was a dog, because we are all nothing in the eyes of God!
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags"; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
The woman knew what she was and she knew to remain humble!
1Pe 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
We should not be afraid when God test our "faith"!
The Lord Jesus did not have to go to the home of this woman, her "faith" had made it unnecessary.
If the Lord said her daughter was free of the devil, then she knew that it was true and that is what she found when she got home!
This is what Jesus had come to do, and with this completed He went to see the fruit of Missionary Demoniac.
*****Mar 7:31 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.
When Jesus was here last He was asked to leave:
Luk 8:37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
Thank goodness for Jesus, the God of the "second chance"!
Mark leaves out some details that Matthew makes us aware of:
Mat 15:29 And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there.
Mat 15:30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:
Mat 15:31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
Mark singles out one certain man for us to learn from.
*****Mar 7:32 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.
Mar 7:33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;
Mar 7:34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.
Mar 7:35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.
These that brought this man to Jesus were anxious to see a miracle but Jesus only felt compassion for this man and wanted to heal him.
Jesus normally just spoke the the healing came.
This day He added something else!
This man could speak but was not easily understood.
The reason for that was because he could not hear!
Jesus wanted this man to understand that He knew he could not hear.
It’s that personal relationship that makes Our Lord more real!
Not some idol on a shelf.
Not some prophet who no longer lives.
But our God is not afraid to come down to our level and touch our infirmities!
This man clearly understood before he was healed that the Lord knew all about him!
Here again there was no magic in the words the Lord used.
That word Ephphatha simply meant "be opened"!
Jesus sighed because these things are brought on by the Devil!
How did all healings actually occur?
Mat 8:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, "Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses".
As soon as Jesus said the word Ephphatha both ears of this man were opened. He then could hear his own voice and that of others and his tongue was also loosed!
And he spoke plainly!
*****Mar 7:36 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;
Mar 7:37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
Satan’s power in this man’s life was broken and this is what Jesus Christ can do for everyone who believes and has "faith" on Him!
This man’s healing could not be hidden but Jesus told him and these around him that no one needed to know how this happened.
Remember Jesus was seeking a rest for Himself but more so for the 12 chosen disciples.
The more the Lord urged these people to keep it quiet, the more they told how Jesus had healed those that came to Him!
Jesus Christ indeed did all things well!
This is one of the strongest evidences of His deity!
No matter how much the Word of God is studied.
No matter how much scrutiny is shown to His deeds.
No flaw can be found in the things that Jesus did!
Jesus had nothing to retract.
Jesus was never deficient but always fulfilling.
Jesus did nothing one could change to make it better.
Everything Jesus did while He walked on this Earth was exactly right for each occasion!
AND, Not one of God’s Words will go unfulfilled!