Books of the Book: Mark

Clean And Unclean

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Kevin Hart, Tom Shepherd


Series Code: MBOTB

Program Code: MBOTB00006A

00:21 Welcome to Books of the Book we are studying
00:24 the book of Mark.
00:25 I am pleased to tell you that we have Professor Tom
00:29 Shepherd, and he teaches New Testament Interpretation
00:32 at Andrews University.
00:33 Welcome Professor!
00:34 Thank you, very good to be with you.
00:36 Kevin: thank you!
00:37 What did you study in undergrad, I'm curious?
00:38 Well in undergrad it was interesting, I studied
00:41 theology, which probably people would expect,
00:44 but I also did pre-med and pre-public health.
00:48 Kevin: that is an interesting combination.
00:49 I actually went on and did a Masters of doctrine in
00:52 public health before going on and doing ministry and
00:55 eventually doing the doctrine in New Testament.
00:59 So my background in public health relates to something
01:04 we are going to talk about in Mark chapter 7 today.
01:06 So I have a pop quiz for you.
01:07 Kevin: okay!
01:08 Professor: here goes the quiz.
01:10 In Mark 7, when Jesus disciples ate food with unwashed
01:15 hands and Jesus defended them it means;
01:20 people did not get as dirty in those days,
01:24 the Pharisees were better at public health and hygiene
01:29 then Jesus was, or
01:31 your mother was wrong, you really don't need to wash
01:35 your hands before your meal.
01:37 You have got me, but I will tell you I hope it wasn't
01:40 C because I'm borderline Germ-a-phobic.
01:42 I don't have OCD, but I like to wash my hands a lot.
01:46 So I'm hoping that C is not the answer to that one.
01:49 Actually, probably none of these,
01:52 is the right answer to this question.
01:54 But we have to look at Mark chapter 7 and try to
01:57 understand just what was going on and what
01:59 Jesus had to say.
02:00 So let's open up and read Mark 7:1-23.
02:04 It's kind of a long section so what I'll do is I'll read
02:08 verses 1-13, kind of the first half of it and then you
02:12 read verses 14-23. Kevin: okay!
02:15 Mark chapter 7 starting in verse 1, "the Pharisees
02:17 and some of the scribes gathered around him when
02:19 they had come from Jerusalem and had seen that
02:22 some of his disciples were eating their bread with
02:24 impure hands. " that is unwashed.
02:27 "For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat
02:30 unless they carefully wash their hands,
02:32 thus observing the traditions of the Elders and
02:35 when they come from the market place they do not eat
02:37 unless they cleanse themselves. And there are many
02:40 other things which they have received in order to
02:42 observe, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and
02:46 copper pots. The Pharisees and scribes asked him,
02:49 why do your disciples not walk according to the
02:53 traditions of the Elders but eat their bread with impure
02:57 hands? And he said to them rightly did Isaiah prophesy
03:01 of you hypocrites as it is written, this people honors
03:05 me with their lips but their heart is far away from me.
03:08 But in vain they worship me teaching as doctrines
03:11 precepts of men. Neglecting the commandment of God
03:15 you hold to the tradition of men. He was also saying
03:20 to them you are experts at setting aside the
03:22 commandments of God in order to keep your traditions.
03:25 For Moses said honor your father and your mother and
03:29 he who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to
03:31 death, but you say that if a man says to his father or
03:35 his mother, whatever I have that would help you is
03:38 Corban that is to say given to God.
03:42 You no longer permit him to do anything for his
03:45 father or his mother thus invalidating the word of
03:48 God by your tradition which you have handed down and you
03:51 do many things such as that. "
03:54 Kevin: "and when he had called all the people unto
03:57 him he said unto them Harken unto me every one of you,
04:01 and understand: there is nothing from without a man,
04:04 that entering into him can defile him: but the things
04:07 which come out of him, those are they that defile the
04:11 man. If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.
04:14 And when he was entered into the house from the people,
04:17 his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
04:19 And he said unto them, are ye so without understanding
04:23 also? Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from
04:26 without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him;
04:29 because it entereth not into his heart, but into the
04:33 belly, and goeth up out into the draught purging all
04:36 meats? And he said, that which cometh out of the man,
04:40 that defileth the man. For from within, out
04:44 of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adultery's,
04:47 fortifications, murders, thefts, covetousness,
04:50 wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye,
04:54 blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things
04:58 come from within, and defile the man. "
05:01 Professor: Alright, well it's a rather interesting
05:04 passage isn't it?
05:06 Kevin: it sure is.
05:07 Professor: it's all about clean and unclean, about things
05:09 that defile or don't defile.
05:11 So we want to try and get an understanding of this
05:13 chapter that has become quite an area of controversy
05:17 for quite a few people.
05:18 We have a graphic here that makes an outline of the
05:21 passage I want to take a look at that.
05:22 I like outlining a passage because it gives you a
05:28 very quick form what the meaning of the passage is.
05:31 The first section of this passage breaks into two
05:35 parts is verses 1-13, where it says do unclean hands
05:40 make a person "common", that is the terminology that
05:44 is used here and we will explain it a little bit more
05:46 about that as we go along.
05:47 This first section divides into 2 parts,1 and 2.
05:50 The question of unclean hands and then Jesus' reply in
05:55 verses 6-13,God's law verses man's traditions.
05:58 Then the second section, part B. is what makes
06:03 a person "common" verses 14 to 23.
06:08 It also divides into 2 parts, first there is a
06:11 little saying that Jesus has found in verses 14-16,
06:16 the saying it's self is in verse 15 and
06:20 we'll take a look at that saying.
06:21 then Jesus' exclamation of outside in and inside out
06:27 in verses 17-23.
06:28 It sounds a lot like the idea of the riddles that we were talking
06:35 about. Kevin: It sure does.
06:36 That we were talking about when we discussed chapter 4,
06:37 in fact the very same term appears here, is parable
06:40 which should be translated riddle.
06:43 Kevin: Of course.
06:44 Professor: They wanted to know what the riddle was.
06:45 Kevin: So what are the central points of the passage.
06:47 Professor: and there are really two main central points
06:50 that we must not lose sight of.
06:51 There are some verses that people really focus in, and
06:56 you remember when we talked about problem text in
06:58 another session?
06:59 How many problem text are there in the Bible?
07:01 Kevin: no problem text in the Bible.
07:03 Professor: no problem text in the Bible only if we
07:04 misunderstand the text.
07:06 So there is some text that people particularly focus on,
07:10 like verse 15, verse 19 and that can take up so much of
07:14 the attention that people miss the major points that are
07:19 being made in this passage.
07:20 So there are 2 major points.
07:21 The first are the commandments of God are more
07:25 important than man's rules.
07:28 God's commandments stand above man's traditions.
07:32 If you have traditions that are in accordance with
07:34 God's rules, that's not a problem.
07:37 Kevin: they're in harmony.
07:38 Professor: they are in harmony, but when you have
07:39 something were tradition becomes more important and
07:42 above God's rules, then you have a problem.
07:45 Because you place man above God.
07:47 The second concept is this interesting idea of
07:51 a clean heart, what makes the body or the
07:55 heart clean or unclean?
07:58 Jesus said that the question is not about outside
08:02 cleansing that is important, rather the important
08:06 issue is the issue of the heart.
08:08 If the heart is clean then the person is clean.
08:12 Kevin: right, why, one has to ask themselves why did
08:15 the Jews have so many rules? So many laws?
08:19 Things added on to the original body of commandments
08:23 the Lord gave them.
08:24 Professor: this is especially found in verses 3 and 4
08:27 where Mark gives us a little run down on what were
08:30 some of the common kind of rules that they had.
08:32 He talked about them carefully washing their hands,
08:36 this was for a ceremonial purification.
08:39 He talks about washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.
08:45 They had a number of rules and here is how it worked.
08:48 You have the law of God and if you are really serious
08:52 about the law of God, you wanted to be sure to keep
08:55 it and not break God's commandments, alright?
08:58 So how would you make sure that you wouldn't
09:01 break God's commandments?
09:03 Well what you did was, they called it making a hedge
09:07 around the law.
09:08 You make a hedge around so - Kevin: their intentions
09:11 were good they were trying to protect the law by itself.
09:14 Professor: good intentions, they build a hedge around so
09:17 you don't break it, you make a little barrier.
09:19 When I was a missionary in Brazil, I taught theology
09:22 students and had a little fun in the classroom
09:24 with them one time.
09:26 I was talking to the students about this topic
09:28 and I said, when should you be ready for God
09:31 on the Sabbath day?
09:32 When the Sun goes down or before that?
09:35 One student spoke up real quickly and said, you should
09:38 be ready 15 minutes before the Sun goes down.
09:40 I smiled and said, thank you Mr. Pharisee.
09:44 Everybody laughed Kevin: I bet he had a puzzled look
09:47 on his face right?
09:48 Well he was captured in the fun Kevin: but likewise he
09:53 probably, his intent was to protect the law of the Sabbath.
09:56 Professor: of course of course, all good intentions.
09:59 There is nothing wrong with protecting the law of God
10:03 by being very careful, but when these become so central,
10:07 tradition sometimes can have a way of just getting a
10:11 life of their own.
10:12 And becoming, will that's the way we always do it.
10:16 We don't do it that way, you probably have heard that
10:19 before you know, we don't do it that way.
10:21 Well, sorry why not?
10:23 That's not our way and that can become more important
10:27 then the people that you are talking to.
10:29 Then you have a problem.
10:31 We mustn't lose the very important central teaching
10:35 Jesus is making in this excerpt.
10:38 Kevin: Professor in verse 11, Jesus uses this
10:41 word Corban, can you shed a little light on
10:43 the meaning of that?
10:44 Professor: it is quite interesting, back here in verse
10:48 10 and 11, Jesus makes a distinction between what they
10:53 were doing and what they were supposed to be doing.
10:54 We read those again, verse 10 says, "for Moses says,"
10:58 of course this is the law, "Moses said honor
11:03 your father and your mother," that is from the ten
11:04 Commandments, and another part from the Old Testament
11:08 is, "he who speaks evil of father or mother is to be
11:11 put to death. " Verse 11, "but you say", so you noticed
11:15 he, For Moses said in verse 10, but you say in verse 11.
11:21 So he is contrasting the law of God
11:24 and the traditions of men.
11:25 Here is what they said, "if a man says to his father
11:28 or his mother what ever I have that would help you is
11:31 Corban, that is to say given to God. "
11:35 Verse 12, "you no longer permitted him to do anything for
11:38 his father or his mother. "
11:40 What was Corban?
11:41 Corban was a ruling that they came up with that a
11:44 person could, you might say it's like a gift,
11:48 an irrevocable trust almost, where you said
11:53 here is a, maybe I have some land.
11:58 I want to give that to the temple, I want to give
12:02 that to God service so I pronounce Corban over it,
12:05 that means it is given.
12:09 Now I can take and use that during my lifetime,
12:12 but it is really dedicated to God so for anybody
12:17 else to use it will be trespassing on to something
12:21 that really belongs to God because of the gift
12:24 that I made.
12:25 Now some people made use of this, I mean it's
12:28 not a totally bad idea.
12:30 We have ire-revocable trusts that people use today,
12:32 but some people use this as a way to get out of
12:34 taking care of their parents when they got old.
12:37 So they said, Corban over it, and their mother and
12:40 father were getting old and said, son we need your
12:44 help we do not have enough to take care of ourselves.
12:48 Oh my father I am sorry, I really wish I could help you.
12:52 I love you and care for you but I have already
12:55 pronounce Corban over my possessions here and it is
12:57 dedicated to God dad and I just can't help you.
13:01 You look very sanctimonious, you look very good,
13:06 upstanding holy person, but you are selfishly not
13:12 taking care of your parents.
13:13 Jesus had a real problem with that kind of an idea.
13:17 Kevin: so that obviously is the flaw that you
13:21 get from establishing all kinds of extra human laws.
13:26 Professor: the traditions that takeover.
13:28 Kevin: taking on a lot of their own again.
13:29 Professor: a life of their own again and what is
13:32 interesting here is that you asked the question,
13:34 who is defending the law of God?
13:38 Kevin: that would be Jesus.
13:40 Professor: Jesus is the defender of the law of God,
13:42 in fact any place in the book of Mark where Moses is
13:47 brought up, Jesus talks about Moses, He always is in
13:50 favor of Moses.
13:52 He is always defending the law of God, so it is the tables
13:56 are turned in a way, because they had been accusing
13:58 Jesus of going things against the law.
14:00 But now He turns the tables on them and says, you know
14:03 fellows your traditions are what is breaking the law
14:07 of God, and He comes to the defense of the law of God.
14:09 Kevin: I want to take a look at verse 15,
14:12 because 15 has the riddle.
14:14 But before we do that we have to take a short break.
14:17 Do not go away, will be back with Books of the Book,
14:20 get your pen's and pencils, we will see you soon.


Revised 2014-12-17