Mark 7:1-23 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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God's Law and Rules that People Make

7 1Some Pharisees* and some teachers of the law came from Jerusalem. They gathered around Jesus. 2The 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].) 3The 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. 4And 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. 5The 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?" 6Jesus 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. 7Their worship of me is for nothing. The things they teach are only rules that people have made.' Isaiah 29:13

8You have stopped following the commands of God. Now you follow the teachings of men." 9Then Jesus said to them: "You think you are smart! You ignore the commands of God so that you can follow your own teachings! 10Moses 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.'* 11But 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.' 12You are telling that person that he does not have to do anything for his father or mother. 13So you are teaching that it is not important to do what God said. You think that it is more important to follow those rules you teach people. And you do many things like that." 14Jesus called the people to him again. He said, "Every person should listen to me and understand what I am saying. 15There is nothing a person puts into his body that makes him wrong. A person is made wrong by the things that come from him." 16* 17Then Jesus left the people and went into the house. The followers asked Jesus about this story. 18Jesus said, "You still have trouble understanding? Surely you know that nothing that enters a person from the outside can make him wrong. 19Food 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.) 20And Jesus said, "The things that come from a person are the things that make that person wrong. 21All these bad things begin inside a person, in the mind: bad thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, 22adultery,* selfishness, doing bad things to people, lying, doing sinful things, jealousy, saying bad things about people, proud boasting, and foolish living. 23All these evil things come from inside a person. These things make a person wrong."

Pharisees The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs. hypocrites Bad people that act like they are good. 'You must honor ... mother' Quote from Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16. 'Any person ... killed' Quote from Ex. 21:17. Verse 16 Some Greek copies add verse 16: "You people that hear me, listen!" adultery Breaking a marriage promise by sexual sin. 

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