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Mark 7

Obey God’s Law
1When some Pharisees and some teachers of the law came from Jerusalem, they gathered around Jesus. 2They saw that some of Jesus’ followers ate food with hands that were not clean, that is, they hadn’t washed them. 3(The Pharisees and all the Jews never eat before washing their hands in the way required by their unwritten laws. 4And when they buy something in the market, they never eat it until they wash themselves in a special way. They also follow many other unwritten laws, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, and pots.)
5The Pharisees and the teachers of the law said to Jesus, “Why don’t your followers obey the unwritten laws which have been handed down to us? Why do your followers eat their food with hands that are not clean?”
6Jesus answered, “Isaiah was right when he spoke about you hypocrites. He wrote,
‘These people show honor to me with words,
but their hearts are far from me.
7Their worship of me is worthless.
The things they teach are nothing but human rules.’#Isaiah 29:13
8You have stopped following the commands of God, and you follow only human teachings.”
9Then Jesus said to them, “You cleverly ignore the commands of God so you can follow your own teachings. 10Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.’ 11But you say a person can tell his father or mother, ‘I have something I could use to help you, but it is Corban—a gift to God.’ 12You no longer let that person use that money for his father or his mother. 13By your own rules, which you teach people, you are rejecting what God said. And you do many things like that.”
14After Jesus called the crowd to him again, he said, “Every person should listen to me and understand what I am saying. 15There is nothing people put into their bodies that makes them unclean. People are made unclean by the things that come out of them. [16Let those with ears use them and listen.]”
17When Jesus left the people and went into the house, his followers asked him about this story. 18Jesus said, “Do you still not understand? Surely you know that nothing that enters someone from the outside can make that person unclean. 19It does not go into the mind, but into the stomach. Then it goes out of the body.” (When Jesus said this, he meant that no longer was any food unclean for people to eat.)
20And Jesus said, “The things that come out of people are the things that make them unclean. 21All these evil things begin inside people, in the mind: evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, 22greed, evil actions, lying, doing sinful things, jealousy, speaking evil of others, pride, and foolish living. 23All these evil things come from inside and make people unclean.”
Jesus Helps a Non-Jewish Woman
24Jesus left that place and went to the area around Tyre. When he went into a house, he did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not stay hidden. 25A woman whose daughter had an evil spirit in her heard that he was there. So she quickly came to Jesus and fell at his feet. 26She was Greek, born in Phoenicia, in Syria. She begged Jesus to force the demon out of her daughter.
27Jesus told the woman, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs. First let the children eat all they want.”
28But she answered, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table can eat the children’s crumbs.”
29Then Jesus said, “Because of your answer, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.”
30The woman went home and found her daughter lying in bed; the demon was gone.
Jesus Heals a Deaf Man
31Then Jesus left the area around Tyre and went through Sidon to Lake Galilee, to the area of the Ten Towns. 32While he was there, some people brought a man to him who was deaf and could not talk plainly. The people begged Jesus to put his hand on the man to heal him.
33Jesus led the man away from the crowd, by himself. He put his fingers in the man’s ears and then spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to the man, “Ephphatha!” (This means, “Be opened.”) 35Instantly the man was able to hear and to use his tongue so that he spoke clearly.
36Jesus commanded the people not to tell anyone about what happened. But the more he commanded them, the more they told about it. 37They were completely amazed and said, “Jesus does everything well. He makes the deaf hear! And those who can’t talk he makes able to speak.”

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