November 4th, 2006
The human body is remarkably adaptive. Your body shape and appearance depend more on your genetic make-up than on the specific foods which you eat. If you ate only vegetables for the next 5 years, you would still look pretty much the same as if you ate mainly meat. Some foods can make you fatter and some can make you less healthy, but on the whole you are who you are regardless of what goes in. On the other hand, according to Jesus, what comes out of your mouth can radically affect the sort of person that you are.
Mark’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 7
7:1 Jesus met up with some Pharisees and religious lawyers who had come from Jerusalem. 7:2 They noticed some of his disciples eating bread with “unclean hands”, that is without washing their hands. 7:3 The Pharisees and Jews in general do not eat unless they wash their hands with their fists in accordance with the tradition of the elders. 7:4 They do not eat anything from the market without first sprinkling it, and they follow many other traditions such as washing of cups, utensils and bronze vessels. 7:5 The Pharisees and religious lawyers asked him, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders by eating their bread with unwashed hands?”
7:6 He answered, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites, ‘This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7:7 They worship me in vain, teaching human rules as doctrines.’
7:8 “You ignore the commandment of God, instead following human traditions,” 7:9 he said to them, “You reject the commandment of God in order to keep your own traditions. 7:10 Moses said, ‘Honour your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother should be executed.’ 7:11 But you say, “If someone tells a father or mother, ‘Instead of giving you the things I am supposed to give you, I am declaring them Corban, that is, a gift to God,’ 7:12 then you stop that person from doing anything for the father or mother, 7:13 cancelling out the word of God with your tradition. You do many things like this.”
7:14 He called the crowd and said to them, “Listen everybody, and understand. 7:15 There is nothing from outside a person that pollutes the person when ingested. The things which come out of the person are the things which pollute the person.”
7:17 When he had entered a house away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about the parable. 7:18 He said, “Are you so slow? Don’t you understand that whatever gets eaten doesn’t pollute a person, 7:19 because it doesn’t go into the heart, but into the stomach, then into the sewer, so that all foods are clean?” 7:20 He said, “Pollution is caused by the stuff that comes out of the person. 7:21 From within, out of the hearts of humans come evil thoughts, sexual sins, thefts, murders, 7:22 adulteries, greed, evil, lies, lustful desires, envy, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and pollute the person.”
7:24 He left that place and went to the region of Tyre. He did not want anyone to see him entering a house, but he was noticed 7:25 by a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, and she came and fell down at his feet. 7:26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race, and she asked him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 7:27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be fed first, because it’s not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to dogs.” 7:28 She answered, “Yes, Lord, and yet the dogs get to eat the children’s crumbs under the table.” 7:29 He said to her, “Because you have said that, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.” 7:30 She went home and found the child lying on the bed, with the demon gone.
7:31 Leaving the district of Tyre, Jesus went through Sidon to the sea of Galilee, in the district of the Decapolis. 7:32 People brought him a deaf man with a speech impediment. They begged Jesus to lay his hand on him. 7:33 He took the man aside from the crowd privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 7:34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha!” which means, “Be opened!” 7:35 Immediately the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he spoke clearly. 7:36 Jesus instructed them to tell no one, but the more he gave this instruction, the more people spread the news. 7:37 They were totally amazed, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes deaf people hear, and mute people speak!”
Entry Filed under: Generosity