Mark 7:1-16

Jesus speaks to Pharisees and to some teachers of God's Law

1 A group of Pharisees and some teachers of God's Law came from Jerusalem to talk with Jesus. 2 They had been watching Jesus' disciples. Some of the disciples did not wash their hands before they ate a meal. That is to say, they did not wash them in the right way. 3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat food until they have washed their hands carefully. They do this because of what their leaders taught them. 4 When they come from the market place, they always wash themselves carefully. Unless they do this, they do not eat anything. Their leaders also gave them rules about how they should wash cups, pots and metal bowls.)

5 The Pharisees and the teachers of God's Law said to Jesus, ‘Your disciples do not obey the things that our leaders taught many years ago. Your disciples have not washed their hands in the right way. They are eating their food with unclean hands. That is not right.’

6 Jesus said to them, ‘You are hypocrites! What God's prophet Isaiah wrote about you long ago is true:

God says, “These people say good things about me,

but they do not really want to obey me.

7 They say that I am great.

But what they say has no purpose.

They teach their own rules, which I did not give to them.” ’

8 Jesus then said, ‘You have stopped obeying God. Instead you obey the ideas that men teach.’

9 He said to them, ‘You refuse to obey God's rules, because then you can keep your own ideas! 10 For example, Moses wrote, “You must love your father and your mother. You must obey them.” He also said, “You must kill anyone who curses his father or his mother.” 11 But you teach that a person may say to his father or to his mother, “I would have given gifts to help you. But I cannot do that, because I have given them to God instead.” 12 If he says that, you let him do nothing to help his father or his mother. 13 This shows that you have not obeyed what God says is right. Instead, you have obeyed the ideas that you received from your leaders many years ago. And you do many other things like that.’

7:10See Exodus 21:17

14 Jesus asked the crowd of people to come to him again. He said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, so that you can understand these things. 15 People do not become unclean because of things that go into their bodies from outside. They become unclean because of the things that come out from their minds. 16 [You have heard my words. So do what I say.’]

7:16This verse is not in some old copies of the Bible.