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Mark Chapter Seven


I. Content of the Chapter


The Teachings Concerning Purification of the Bondman the Savior

A.   To the evil criticizers ---- the Pharisees and some of the scribes (v.1-13);

B.   To the common people (v.14-16);

C.   To His disciples (v.17-23);


The Service of the Bondman the Savior Among the Gentiles

A.   Who cast off the demon in the daughter of the Greek woman though only the power of His words (v.24-30);

B.   Who healed the one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech through the actions of taking him aside, putting His fingers in his ears, and touching and saying (v.31-37);


II. Verse by Verse commentary


Mark. 7:1 Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem.

YLT: “And gathered together unto him are the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, having come from Jerusalem,”

Literal Meaning: “the Pharisees and some of the scribes”, “the Pharisees” were those who emphasized the letters of the law in Judaism and considered that they were “separated” (the meaning of Pharisees) from others. “The scribes” were those who specially transcribed the law and taught the law. The Jews usually called them “rabbi”. Most of the scribes were Pharisees, but not all the Pharisees were scribes.

“Who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus”, “Jerusalem” was the center of the Jewish religion and politics. They came far away from Jerusalem to find Jesus, for they thought the words and deeds of Jesus and His disciples had gone against the teachings of Judaism.

Spiritual Meaning: “the scribes and the Pharisees” symbolize all the religious believers all over the world, including the formal Christians. “Jerusalem” symbolizes the root of all religions.


Mark. 7:2 Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.

YLT: “and having seen certain of his disciples with defiled hands -- that is, unwashed -- eating bread, they found fault;”

Literal Meaning: “eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault”, “defiled” referred to the hands that had not been washed according to the religious customs. The matter of “washing hands” that they kept was a religious ceremony, which was not for the sake of cleanness.

  “That is”, this was an explanation of Mark for the customs of the Jews, and because the Gospel of Mark was written to the Gentiles (please see the “introduction of the Gospel of Mark”).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Christianity at present had accumulated many traditions in the past two thousand years. However it is not obligatory for Christians to obey those traditions.

2)    If we stress on the outward regulations and ways, we may also become the “scribes and Pharisees” in this age.


Mark. 7:3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.

YLT: “for the Pharisees, and all the Jews, if they do not wash the hands to the wrist, do not eat, holding the tradition of the elders,”

Meaning of Words: “elder”: a senior; “hold”: keep, use strength, seize or retain; “in a special way”: with the fist;

The Background: “the tradition of the elders”, it referred to the annotations and extensions of the Law of Moses by famous law-teachers throughout all ages. All of them were preserved in an oral manner and were strictly kept by the Pharisees. According to the Law of Moses, priests had to wash their hands and their feet before entering the temple to serve (see Ex. 30:19). However, in the light of the supplementary teachings preserved in oral, the commandment towards priests had been extended to the sphere of the details of the common people’s life. For example, they had to wash their hands before eating bread, lest they have touched unclean things (such as dead body, dead cattle and unclean animals). The rabbis always said, “The holy people (the people of Israel) who live in the holy land (Canaan) must speak the holy language (Hebrew language) and eat holy food (washing their hands).”

Literal Meaning: “wash their hands in a special way”, “wash… in a special way”, it meant that they immersed their hands up to the wrist.


Mark. 7:4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.

YLT: “and, from the market-place, if they do not baptize themselves, they do not eat; and many other things there are that they received to hold, baptisms of cups, and pots, and brazen vessels, and couches.”

Meaning of Words: “wash”: baptize; “washing”: baptizing;

The Background: there were three kinds of washings that the Pharisees have received and hold:

1.    Washing hands: to immerse one’s hands until his wrists (see v.2-3);

2.    Washing: to immerse one’s whole body into water;

3.    Washing substances: to immerse utensils like cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches into water;

Literal Meaning: “when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash”. ---- They were afraid that they might have touched the gentiles or some Jews having not kept the customs that they themselves were defiled. Therefore, they had to be cleaned through the process like washing before eating.

  “They have received and hold”, the word “receive” was usually used among the Jews in all their teachings, regulations, customs and practices that were passed down generation from generation. The Apostle Paul also used this word to when he mentioned the bread and cup (1Cor.11:23) as well as the gospel (1Cor15:1) “received” from the Lord and

  The word “washing” in this verse was the same as the word “baptizing” in the original.


Mark. 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?"

YLT: “Then question him do the Pharisees and the scribes, `Wherefore do thy disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but with unwashed hands do eat the bread?'”


Mark. 7:6 He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: "This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.

YLT: “and he answering said to them -- `Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you, hypocrites, as it hath been written, This people with the lips doth honor Me, and their heart is far from Me;”

Meaning of Words: “hypocrites”: acting, performance;

The Background: the background of the word “hypocrites” was that the actors on stage at that time often spoke under masks to hide their true faces so as to play an assumed character vividly.

Literal Meaning: “well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,” the words from verse 6 to 7 are quoted from the Book of Isaiah (29:13). “Hypocrites” means their words discord with their deeds.

  “This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.” ---- Religionists are usually characterized by having only the appearance of worship instead of the reality of worship. Such condition is especially manifested in that “he says what he does not mean” ---- Though they speak logically and clearly, they actually worship God with their lips but not honor God in their hearts.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    There have been hypocrites among God’s people since the ancient times. It is especially so today. 

2)    Hypocrisy is not indeed bad but falsely good. However the false goodness is even worse.

3)    God is a spirit, and who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (see John. 4:24). The most important thing in worshiping God is one’s heart, not the lips.

4)    The Lord not only sits down on the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:3) but also dwells in our hearts (Eph. 3:17). Therefore what the heavenly people should pay attention to is not the outward ways but the inner real state (see Rom. 2:28-29).


Mark. 7:7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'

YLT: “and in vain do they worship Me, teaching teachings, commands of men;”

Literal Meaning:teaching as doctrines the commandment of men”, they fell into the condition that men’s opinions had replaced God’s will and men’s views had been in place of God’s revelation. What they really paid attention to was not what had God spoken, but what had men spoken.

“Worship Me”, it means honoring God and emphasizing the fear of God or piety.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The amazing words passed by any spiritual man can never have the identical authority with the word of God.

2)    It can not satisfy the Lord’s hearts if one holds high any spiritual giant and worships or serves according to his instructions.

3)    Those that “say one thing but mean another thing” (see v.6) specially stress what men think and speak, but ignore what God thinks and speaks. It’s no wonder in vain they worship God.

4)    “In vain they worship Me.” ---- It shows that if one’s motivation for worshiping is wrong, the worship of God will be wrong too. And more than that, some worship may be in vain.


Mark. 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men --the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do."

YLT: “for, having put away the command of God, ye hold the tradition of men, baptisms of pots and cups; and many other such like things ye do.'”

Literal Meaning: because they “taught as doctrines the commandment of men” (see v.7), men’s tradition treated higher than God’s commandment. Moreover, they abolished the commandment of God by the tradition of men. They had abandoned the commandment of God because of the tradition of men.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Today many Christians and Catholics disregard much God’s word for the sake of keeping the tradition of their assembly.

2)    If men’s words were added to God’s word, men themselves might eventually transgress the word of God.

3)    In the eyes of the Lord, it is not serious to go against the teachings of spiritual men and religionists (the tradition of the elders). It is indeed serious to transgress the words of God (the commandment of God).

4)    What Christians should obey is God’s words. Any doctrine or teaching should not replace God’s words.


Mark. 7:9 He said to them, "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

YLT: “And he said to them, `Well do ye put away the command of God that your tradition ye may keep;”

Spiritual Meaning: “men’s religion” focuses on “men’s tradition” ---- the utterance of great men, traditional views, vain customs and rigid tradition and etc, but forsakes “the commandment of God” ---- the word of God, transient revelation, the spirit of the truth and everlasting fresh enlightenment.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    If men walk according to the outward customs, they may totally go against the intrinsic meaning of “the word of God”. 

2)    To keep the tradition of men will finally cause men to forsake, skillfully, the word of God.


Mark. 7:10 For Moses said, "Honor your father and your mother'; and, "He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.'

YLT: “for Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, He who is speaking evil of father or mother -- let him die the death;”

Meaning of Words: “honor”: respect; “curses”: speak evil of, insult, revile;

Literal Meaning: “let him be put to death.” ---- There are “die” and “death” in the original (let him die the death) and the “die” means to be ended. The whole sentence means “by death, let him die”.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    “Honor your father and your mother”, it is the first commandment about interpersonal relationship in the Ten Commandment. Parents, the origin of children, symbolize that God is the origin of men. God’s intention is to let us honor God by honoring one’s father and mother.

2)    He who curses father or mother must have some problems with God and will fall into spiritual death (see Rom. 8:6). 

3)    He who honors God must honor his parents. It is not the right attitude for believers to ignore family responsibilities on the pretext of God’s word.


Mark. 7:11 But you say, "If a man says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban"--' (that is, a gift to God),

YLT: “and ye say, If a man may say to father or to mother, Korban (that is, a gift), whatever thou mayest be profited out of mine,”

The Background: “Corban”, a kind of dedication with a vow by devoting possessions, originated from Jephthah’s vow (see Judge 11:29-40). Men had no right to draw on the substances that were appointed by the owners as “Corban”. The problem was that such money was allowed to be used for other purposes besides religion, and the one who devoted could even take them for himself according to his own will. Therefore, the oath of “Corban” had turned to a kind of artifice used by children to avoid the obligatory responsibility for their parents according to the law.

Literal Meaning: “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”, it meant that you could not use them, for I had devoted them to God.


Mark. 7:12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother,

YLT: “and no more do ye suffer him to do anything for his father or for his mother,”

The Background: some unfilial Judaic believers usually made use of lawful parries and vowed to dedicate his property to the holy temple in order to evade the responsibility of supporting parents. Moreover, they regarded themselves as the supervisors of the property and still used the property as usual.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Pay what is God’s to God, and what is men’s to men. If someone covers his unfilial behaviors by dedication, he had made use of religion to do evil or to cover his evilness.

2)    The glory of God is not established on the pain of others. Loving God and loving parents are in complete accord. Religion and morality are inseparable.

3)    If one does not love his brother whom he has seen, he will not love God whom he has not seen. He that loves God loves also his brother (1John 4:21).


Mark. 7:13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do."

YLT: “setting aside the word of God for your tradition that ye delivered; and many such like things ye do.'”

Meaning of Words: “hand down”: surrender, transmit;

Literal Meaning: “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down”, the Pharisees supported the pretext of “Corban” on the basis of the words in the Scripture that one shall not break his word (see Num.30:2). Apparently, they seemed to be rather right, for they “explained the scriptures through scriptures” ---- to maintain the word of God through God’s word. However, the Lord Jesus said that they “handed down their tradition”. Their faults lay in that:

1.   They used a biblical teaching (one shall not break his word) to abolish another biblical teaching (one shall honor his father and mother).

2.   They ignored the whole spirit of the Scripture, but caught only fragments of the Scripture when they applied the biblical teachings.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    To inherit men’s tradition may make “the word of God” of no effect. Therefore, once we have become Christians, we shall not receive any men’s tradition, conception or views, but spend our time reading the Scriptures well and keep the word of God simply.

2)    If any men’s interpretation on the Scriptures goes against the above-mentioned two faults, it will be turned to “men’s tradition”. When we search spiritual writings, if we are not watchful much, we may “make the word of God of no effect” because of “tradition”.

3)    God has made us competent, ministers of new covenant, not of letter, but of spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit quickens (2Cor3:6).


Mark. 7:14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear Me, everyone, and understand:

YLT: “And having called near all the multitude, he said to them, `Hearken to me, ye all, and understand;”

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    What the Lord has said to others is also said to us ------“the multitude”.

2)    It is in vain for us to hear but not understand. May the Lord give us the ears of hearing and hearts of understanding (see Matt. 13-16).


Mark. 7:15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

YLT: “there is nothing from without the man entering into him that is able to defile him, but the things coming out from him, those are the things defiling the man.”

Literal Meaning: “there is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him”, “enters a man from outside”, it refers to food (see v.19); “defile him”: to make men “common and unclean” (see Acts. 11:8), i.e. to make someone not be “sanctified” (see John. 17:19).

“But the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man”, “but the things which come out of him”, they refer to the thoughts, words and behaviors coming out of men’s hearts (see v.21-22).

The scribes and Pharisees talked about the problem of cleanness by “washing hands” (see v.2). Now the Lord Jesus elevated the whole matter unto the real meaning of purification by the discussion of “food”. The uncleanness in letters was insignificant, but the uncleanness in morality was significant.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    All the real uncleanness originates from the inner part of men ---- it is a matter of heart, not of hands.

2)    Religious believers have the concepts of substances and letters only and yet lack the spiritual sight. Anyone with spiritual sight knows that the true uncleanness is evil ideas in men’s hearts instead of the impropriety of food and religious ceremonies.

3)    In the life of the heavenly kingdom, the uncleanness is not outward but inner appearance, not physical but spiritual.


Mark. 7:16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"

YLT: “If any hath ears to hear -- let him hear.'”


Mark. 7:17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable.

YLT: “And when he entered into a house from the multitude, his disciples were questioning him about the simile,”


Mark. 7:18 So He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him,

YLT: “and he saith to them, `So also ye are without understanding! Do ye not perceive that nothing from without entering into the man is able to defile him?”

Literal Meaning: “whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him”, “whatever enters a man from outside” refers to food (see v.2, 19); “defile”, it does not speak of the uncleanness concerning the public hygiene, but the uncleanness in regard to customs. 

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Our heart is slow that we shall ask the Lord to open our understanding to “understand” His word (see Luke 24:25, 45).

2)    The key of the matter does not lie in the outside ways, but the heart inside.


Mark. 7:19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?"

YLT: “because it doth not enter into his heart, but into the belly, and into the drain it doth go out, purifying all the meats.'”

Literal Meaning: “purifying all foods”, some Bible exegetes thought they were parentheses added by Mary, not the Lord’s words at that time, so they were presented in parenthesis.


Mark. 7:20 And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.

YLT: “And he said -- `That which is coming out from the man, that doth defile the man;”

Literal Meaning: “and they defile a man”, the word “and” in the original is emphatic.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The nominal believers only see the outside uncleanness of men, so they strictly keep the regulations of cleanness. However, the Lord sees clearly the inside defilement of men. May the Lord enlighten us that we not only cleanse our works but also our heart.

2)    The Lord’s attention is not on material things but spiritual things. Health counts for little. However, the uncleanness of men’s hearts counts for much.

3)    The defilement stems from the unclean heart instead of violating the outside regulations.


Mark. 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

YLT: “for from within, out of the heart of men, the evil reasonings do come forth, adulteries, whoredoms, murders,”

Literal Meaning: “proceed”: give forth continually;

“Evil thoughts”: evil schemes, the beginning of all men’s sins;

“Murders” or “adultery”, it refers to the sexual acts that ruin the marital relations.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). All the wickedness of men is on account of the deceitfulness of men’s heart.

2)    An evil heart produces evil thoughts, and the evil thoughts bring forth evil acts. All the outside evil acts of man are out of the evil thoughts inside.

3)    The heart of believers shall only be cleansed (see Eph. 5:26) by appropriating the water in the Lord’s water frequently. This is the fundamental way of blocking the evil thoughts and actions.


Mark. 7:22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.

YLT: “thefts, covetous desires, wickedness, deceit, arrogance, an evil eye, evil speaking, pride, foolishness;”

Literal Meaning: “fornications”: the illegitimate sexual action between unmarried couples or outside the couple;

  “Deceit”: “deception”;

  “An evil eye”: the eye that designs evil, which also refers to hostility, enmity, envy;

“Lewdness” or “licentiousness”: shameless and unlimited indulgence in sexual actions;

“Blasphemy”: it mainly refers to the blasphemy against God as well as slanders to men;


Mark. 7:23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

YLT: “all these evils do come forth from within, and they defile the man.'”

Enlightenment in the Word: the uncleanness of men’s hearts is the root of all evil and uncleanness.


Mark. 7:24 From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden.

YLT: “And from thence having risen, he went away to the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and having entered into the house, he wished none to know, and he was not able to be hid,”

Literal Meaning: “there”, it refers to the land of Gennesaret (see 6:53).

  Tyre and Sidon” were port cities of the Mediterranean in the region of Phoenicia (Lebanon right now), on the northern part of the Sea of Galilee. They had been cursed by God (see Is. 23, Joel. 3:4).

Spiritual Meaning: “the region of Tyre and Sidon” was the land of Gentiles, symbolizing the circumstances which were far away from the circumstance influenced by the religious power.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Lord would rather depart to the places where had been cursed by God than be with the hypocritical Pharisees. The Lord would rather show mercy to publicly-known sinners than linger among the secret sinners.

2)    The Lord Jesus would not make Himself known publicly, but could not be hidden. On the contrary, man usually tries his best to manifest himself because of expecting earnestly to show himself.

3)    The incarnated Christ is the boundless God who hides himself within the body of men. However, He is so full that His fullness may usually overflow ---- “could not be hidden”.


Mark. 7:25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.

YLT: “for a woman having heard about him, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having come, fell at his feet, --”

Literal Meaning: “a woman”, she was a Greek, Syrophenician by race (See Mark. 7:26).

Spiritual Meaning: “a woman”, she represents the Gentiles who desire to receive the Lord.

  “My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” ---- “Daughter”, born by the woman, referred to the life and behaviors out of the natural life, and the life was bound and controlled by the devil (see 1John. 5:19).


Mark. 7:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

YLT: “and the woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phenician by nation -- and was asking him, that the demon he may cast forth out of her daughter.”

Literal Meaning: “a Syro-Phoenician by birth”, the Phoenician in the area of Syria. Through this word, Mark might intent to show the Syro-Phoenician was different from the Libya-Phoenician (the Carthaginian) in North Africa.

Enlightenment in the Word: the woman of Canaan came to call upon the Lord for her daughter’s difficulty. We shall also pray to the Lord for our children so that they may enjoy the divine grace.


Mark. 7:27 But Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."

YLT: “And Jesus said to her, `Suffer first the children to be filled, for it is not good to take the children's bread, and to cast to the little dogs.'”

The Background: in the old times the Jews called the Gentiles “dogs”. It was a scornful appellation and yet later became a pet phrase, just like Chinese people called the while race “foreign devils”.

Literal Meaning: “throw it to the little dogs”, “dogs” in the original are “domestic young puppies”, which are treated as pets of family members or playmates of children. It shows that: 1) the dogs are related to the lord of the house; 2) the lord is responsible for feeding them; 3) in a family, the children should take bread first and then the dogs; 4) children eat what is on the table and dogs eat what falls from the table.

Spiritual Meaning: “Let the children be filled first”, it means that the salvation of the Lord has no restriction, but has its order ---- to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (see Rom. 1:16).

“The children’s bread” typifies that the Lord is “the bread of life” (John. 6:35); “children” typifies the Jews, especially “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (See v.24); “dogs” typifies the Gentiles.

“It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs”, the Lord Jesus here didn’t despise the Greek woman but showed the priority of His ministry through these words ---- He came to give His salvation to the Jews first and then to the Gentiles.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Lord Jesus came to the world to be the “bread” that came down out of the heaven in order to make men live by eating Him (see John. 6:51).

2)    Believers should do all things decently and in order (see 1Cor. 14:40). We should not do as we please according to our own desires.


Mark. 7:28 And she answered and said to Him, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children's crumbs."

YLT: “And she answered and saith to him, `Yes, sir; for the little dogs also under the table do eat of the children's crumbs.'”

Literal Meaning: she seized the Lord’s words ---- “little dogs” and humbly admitted that she was only a little dog. Moreover, she boldly declared that the “domestic dogs” (the meaning of little dogs in the original) belonged to the lord and had the right to eat crumbs that the children did not need any more.

Please note that the Lord Jesus departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon (v.21) for He was rejected by the Jews. Therefore He was like the “crumbs” falling from the table.

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    The Greek woman did not get annoyed when the Lord compared her as “little dogs”, but was willing to stand in the position of “little dogs” and called upon the Lord. Finally she received the grace of the Lord (see v.28). God sets Himself against proud, but to humble gives grace (see James. 4:6, 1Pet. 5:5).

2)    The condition of a prayer’s being answered is to seize the words that the Lord has said as a handle and pray to Him ---- it is a good way to pray with the words that the Lord had spoken in the Bible.

3)    When learning to pray, believers should not ask for great matters in the beginning, but start from asking for “crumbs”.

4)    Since the position of we gentile believers before God was like “little dogs”, we were unworthy of receiving grace. However, the full grace has flown from the Jews to the Gentiles like the “crumbs” falling from the table so that we have also obtained the opportunity of receiving grace. Thanks the Lord!


Mark. 7:29 Then He said to her, "For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter."

YLT: “And he said to her, `Because of this word go; the demon hath gone forth out of thy daughter;'”

Literal Meaning: “for this saying”, it referred to her words of asking for crumbs in the position of “little dogs”.

Spiritual Meaning: the daughter of the Greek woman was delivered from the devil, which typified that the Lord turned to the Gentiles because of being rejected by the Jews so that the Gentile believers received salvation (see Rom. 11:11).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    “For this saying”, obviously the wording of our prayer is rather important. In our prayers, we shall not only have right heart before God, but also right words.

2)    One must have spiritual mind in his prayer so that the words of his prayer can touch the will of the Lord. Otherwise, though there is much words, it is still of vanity.

3)    There is a principle in the spiritual area, namely, what we have uttered has rather great value. God not only looks on our heart, but also our words. Though God knows clearly the hearts and reins of us as well as what we are asking for, He likes us to speak it out.

4)    Anyone who is willing to humble himself and stands in the position where he is supposed to stand shall be praised by the Lord.

5)    Since she had eaten the Lord as the “crumbs” of bread (see v.28), her daughter was healed ---- it is a good way to have a good life by eating and enjoying the Lord.


Mark. 7:30 And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.

YLT: “and having come away to her house, she found the demon gone forth, and the daughter laid upon the couch.”

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    He who believes in the Lord’s words will surely see the effect of the Lord’s words with his own eyes.

2)    The devil usually makes men unrest. Once the devil is cast off, men shall rest.


Mark. 7:31 Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee.

YLT: “And again, having gone forth from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis,”

Literal Meaning: if we search the map, we will see that the way of the Lord Jesus was rather circuitous. He firstly went northwards to Sidon and then turned eastwards to the region of Decapolis and finally came southwards to the Sea of Galilee, namely, the country of the Gadarenes where He cast the flock of demons


Mark. 7:32 Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him.

YLT: “and they bring to him a deaf, stuttering man, and they call on him that he may put the hand on him.”

Literal Meaning: “they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech”, since the man was both deaf and dumb, he could neither hear the Lord’s words nor open his mouth to call upon the Lord. However, he was so blessed that there were certain ones interceding for him.

  Some Bible exegetes thought the man who was deaf and dumb was also a gentle person.

Spiritual Meaning: “one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech”, it symbolizes the spiritual deafness and dumbness of men ---- who can neither hear the praise of God, nor praise God (see Is. 35:6), nor speak for the Lord (see Is.56:10).

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    Our “ears” are often “deaf”, so we cannot hear the voice of the Son of God. Our “tongues” are usually “dumb” so we can not say the will of God clearly.

2)    A common saying goes like this: “nine out of ten deaf are dumb”, which means that dumbness is often caused by deafness. If our ears are opened to hear the Lord’s words, our tongues will also be loosed so that we can praise and pray to the Lord as well as bear witness of the Lord.

3)    That believers can not speak for the Lord is on account of having not heard the words of God. We shall firstly learn to hear words of God, and then learn to speak for the Lord. The one whose spiritual eyes are deaf and that refuse to hear the Lord’s words cannot pray.

4)    He who offends in word may probably have not heard the Lord’s word with his heart.


Mark. 7:33 And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue.

YLT: “And having taken him away from the multitude by himself, he put his fingers to his ears, and having spit, he touched his tongue,”

Meaning of Words: “put”: insert;

Spiritual Meaning: “and He took him aside from the multitude”, the Lord delivered him from being disturbed by the multitude so that he would see the Lord only instead of seeing men.

“And put His fingers in his ears”, the Lord opened his ears first to enable him to hear His word.

“And He spat and touched his tongue”, “spat” symbolized the word which went out through the Lord's mouth.


Mark. 7:34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."

YLT: “and having looked to the heaven, he sighed, and saith to him, `Ephphatha,' that is, `Be thou opened;'”

Meaning of Words: “be opened”: open up;

Literal Meaning: “Ephphatha” meant “being opened”, which was Syrian ---- the common language spoken by the Jews dwelling the area of Palestine.

Spiritual Meaning: “looking up to heaven, He sighed”, “look up”, it indicates that God the Father is the origin of His healing power; “sign” mianfests His compassion and mercy in His heart.


Mark. 7:35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.

YLT: “and immediately were his ears opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he was speaking plain.”


Mark. 7:36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.

YLT: “And he charged them that they may tell no one, but the more he was charging them, the more abundantly they were proclaiming ,”

Enlightenment in the Word:

1)    What is most important for believers who speak for the Lord is to speak according to what they have heard from the Lord. If the proclamations are not in the light of the Lord’s commandment, even though they are good words, they can still not be accepted by the Lord.

2)    From another aspect, all those who are “opened (v.35)” by the Lord must proclaim ---- “the Lord commanded more”, “the men proclaimed more”.


Mark. 7:37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."

YLT: “and they were being beyond measure astonished, saying, `Well hath he done all things; both the deaf he doth make to hear, and the dumb to speak.'”

Enlightenment in the Word: “He has done all things well.” ---- That is true. All that He has done are well. We shall feel relieved to entrust ourselves to Him, for what He has done in us are all good.


III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons


The Features of the Workers of the Lord

A.   The Lord’s works are beyond regulations ---- one can eat without washing hands (v.1-23);

B.   The Lord’s works involve those who are unworthy ---- the woman of Canaan obtained grace (v.24-30);

C.   The Lord’s works deliver those who are crushed ---- He healed the one was deaf and had an impediment in his speech (v.31-37);


Faults of the Religionists

A.   Keeping the tradition of the elders (v.1-5);

B.   Hypocrisy ---- honor God with their lips, but their heart is far from God (v.6).

C.   Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men (v.7);

D.   Making the word of God of no effect through their tradition (v.8-13);


The Spiritual Discernment

A.  One need not keep the tradition of elders, but the truth of God must be kept (v.1-5).

B.  The worship of lips may not true, but the worship of spirit and truth is really true (v.6).

C.  The commandment of men may not be reasonable, but the commandment of God is truth (v.7).

D.  Keeping the elders’ tradition shall make the word of God of no effect (v.8-13).

E.  Nothing that enters a man from outside can defile him, but the things which come out of him are the things that defile a man (v.14-23).


Three Forms of Sins

A.   Which are manifested in men’s nature ---- out of the heart of men (v.21a);

B.   Which are manifested in men’s mind ---- evil thoughts (v.21b);

C.   Which are manifested in men’s actions ---- adulteries, thefts (v.21c-22);


How to Enjoy the Authority of the Lord?

A.   One shall be humble before the Lord (v.24-25).

B.   One shall have clear prayers (v.26).

C.   One shall understand the Lord’s words (v.27).

D.   One shall keep himself in right position (v.28).

E.   One shall pray to the Lord with right “words” (v.29).

F.    One shall have faith in the Lord’s word (v.30).


How to Speak for the Lord?

A.   One shall pray to the Lord for one another (v.31-32).

B.   One shall enjoy the close fellowship with the Lord alone ---- Jesus took him aside from the multitude (v.33a).

C.  One’s spiritual ears shall be opened first ---- put His fingers in his ears (v.33b).

D.  One shall be anointed and immersed by the Lord’s word ---- He spat and touched his tongue (v.33c).

E.   One shall obtain clear words from the Lord ---- “Ephphatha” (v.34-35).


All that He Had Done Were Well

A.   His ways are amazing ----His ways are higher than men’s ways (v.31).

B.   His works are amazing ---- He does not work according to men’s prayer (v.32-33).

C.   His words are amazing ---- His words take its effect immediately (v.34-35).

D.   His grace is amazing ---- His grace makes men hear first and speak afterwards (v.36-37).


── Caleb HuangChristian Digest Bible Commentary Series

   Translated by Mary Zhou