What Jesus Did! 'Food Won't Defile' — Mark 7:17-19

Friday, April 29, 2016

Then Jesus left the people and went into the house. The followers asked Jesus about this story. Jesus said, "You still have trouble understanding? Surely you know that nothing that enters a person from the outside can make him wrong. Food does not go into a person's mind. Food goes into the stomach. Then that food goes out of the body." (When Jesus said this, he meant that there is no food that is wrong for people to eat.)
— Mark 7:17-19
Illustration of Mark 7:17-19 —  Food goes into the stomach.

Key Thought

Once again, Jesus wants his closest followers to know that the issues of genuine faith focus on our heart-driven actions and not on the cosmetic ones. Luke and Mark add the powerful commentary about making all food clean—a truth that took some time to sink in among Jesus' early followers. The declaration is radical, not just because he declared all food clean, but because he wanted us to look at our hearts instead of having a perfunctory religious check off list of good deeds that never demanded anything of our hearts.

Today's Prayer

O God, please make my deeds helpful and genuine and my heart pure. I want to love you, and I want to love others, in deeds and truth as well as in words and speech. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Some Pharisees and some teachers of the law came from Jerusalem. They gathered around Jesus. The Pharisees and teachers of the law saw that some of Jesus' followers ate food with hands that were not clean. ("Not clean" means that they did not wash their hands {in the way the Pharisees said people must}.) The Pharisees and all the Jews never eat before washing their hands in this special way. They do this to follow the teaching given to them by their great people that lived before them. And when the Jews buy something in the market, they never eat it until they wash it in a special way. They also follow other rules from their people that lived before them. They follow rules like the washing of cups, pitchers, and pots. The Pharisees and teachers of the law said to Jesus, "Your followers don't follow the rules given to us by our great people that lived before us. Your followers eat their food with hands that are not clean. Why do they do this?" Jesus answered, "You are all hypocrites. Isaiah was right when he spoke about you. Isaiah wrote, 'These people say they honor me, but they don't really make me an important part of their lives. Their worship of me is for nothing. The things they teach are only rules that people have made.' You have stopped following the commands of God. Now you follow the rules you got from other people." Then Jesus said to them: "You think you are smart! You ignore the commands of God so that you can follow your own teachings! Moses said, 'You must honor (respect) your father and mother.' Then Moses also said, 'Any person that says bad things to his father or mother must be killed.' But you teach that a person can say to his father or mother, 'I have something I could use to help you. But I will not use it to help you. I will give it to God.' You are telling that person that he does not have to do anything for his father or mother. So you are teaching that it is not important to do what God said. You think that it is more important to followthose rules you teach people. And you do many things like that." Jesus called the people to him again. He said, "Every person should listen to me and understand what I am saying. There is nothing a person puts into his body that makes him wrong. A person is made wrong by the things that come from him." Then Jesus left the people and went into the house. The followers asked Jesus about this story. Jesus said, "You still have trouble understanding? Surely you know that nothing that enters a person from the outside can make him wrong. Food does not go into a person's mind. Food goes into the stomach. Then that food goes out of the body." (When Jesus said this, he meant that there is no food that is wrong for people to eat.) And Jesus said, "The things that come from a person are the things that make that person wrong. All these bad things begin inside a person, in the mind: bad thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, greed, doing bad things to people, lying, doing things that are morally wrong, jealousy, saying bad things about people, proud boasting, and foolish living. All these evil things come from inside a person. These things make a person wrong. "

Mark 7:1-23

Related Scripture Readings

This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters {in Christ}. Suppose a believer is rich enough to have all the things he needs. He sees his brother {in Christ} who is poor and does not have the things he needs. What if the believer who has things does not help the poor brother? Then the believer who has the things he needs does not have God's love in his heart. My children, our love should not be only words and talk. No! Our love must be true love. We should show our love by the things we do.

1 John 3:16-18

The five Philistine rulers watched the people of Beth Shemesh do all these things. Then the five Philistine rulers went back to Ekron that same day. In this way, the Philistines sent golden models of tumors as gifts for their sins to the Lord. They sent one golden model of a tumor for each Philistine town. These Philistine towns were Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron.

1 Samuel 6:16-17

Peter said, "Explain to us what you said earlier to the people." Jesus said, "You still have trouble understanding? Surely you know that all the food that enters a person's mouth goes into the stomach. Then that food goes out of the body. But the bad things a person says with his mouth come from the way a person thinks. And these are the things that make a person wrong. All these bad things begin in a person's mind: evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, saying bad things against other people. These things make a person wrong. But not washing his hands before he eats does not make a person wrong."

Matthew 15:15-20

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.