Mark 7:1-3, 14-15, 21-23 – “Evil Things Come From Within”

Mark 7:1-3, 14-15, 21-23
1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:
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.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

-At first glance you may think that Jesus was accused of being unsanitary, but the key phrase here is in verse 3– “holding the tradition of the elders”.  It was a common teaching among the religious authority of Jesus’ day that devils and evil spirits would lie in wait on cups or pots or even hands and then when a person ate using those cups or hands, the demon would be ingested thereby allowing evil into that person’s heart.  The solution involved a long, ritualistic cleansing in an effort to scrub the demons away.  Jesus derides the Pharisees and Scribes for allowing such teachings to gain prominence and then goes on to say that men and women are not corrupted by outside forces pushing their way in, but rather we all become defiled by the wicked thoughts and desires that originate from our hearts.  Make no mistake, even lacking any outside influence, we all have more than enough evil in our hearts to land us in Hell.

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