Mark 7:14-23

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord Explains about Defilement

Mark 7:14-23

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Lesson Number 29

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Even spiritual people can be blinded by unbiblical traditions.
  2. Evil actions follow evil thoughts.

Practical Application

  1. Beware if you place too great an emphasis on the externals.
  2. Let's aim to change the heart of people.


  1. What defiles a person?
  2. To whom was the Lord Jesus speaking in this portion of Scripture?
  3. Was the context of this teaching moral or medical?
  4. Why did the Lord give the Jews dietary laws?
  5. Why didn't the disciples, of all people, understand what Jesus was teaching?


  1. Contrary to what the scribes and Pharisees taught about defilement (things entering the body), the Lord taught that defilement comes from within, from the heart.
  2. To the multitudes and to the disciples.
  3. Moral, for what you eat does not defile you morally.
  4. There were clean and unclean foods, and in that day there was no refrigeration. There were other reasons, too, for health purposes.
  5. Jesus had to explain again to the disciples, because they were convinced that you were defiled by the food itself. They had been wrongly taught Pharisaical laws. The Lord rebuked them for their blindness. But, to their credit, they were spiritual men.


  1. How can you discern between Scripture and traditions of men? Do you find yourself becoming blinded at times by unbiblical traditions? For example, how important is it to place the emphasis of Christian lifestyle on body position while you are praying? Or on dress codes? Or on hair styles?
  2. Do you have listening ears? Are you listening carefully to what God is saying to you?


  1. Check out your thought life, for thoughts lead to action. Are your thoughts pure? Read 2 Corinthians 10;5 and Philippians 2:5.

Key Verses

  • "When Jesus had called the multitude to Himself, He said, 'Hear Me, everyone, and understand. 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. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Mark 7:14-16)

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