Mark 7:6-10

Mark 7:6 (KJB)
He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

All the other people had addressed them as Rabbi or some other name of rank but here Jesus knew exactly what they were and that was hypocrites. A hypocrite is one who puts on a false face or virtue or religion. This is why no one will be able to hide anything at the Great White Throne Judgment because Jesus knows the hearts of all men. (John 2:24 KJV) But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, Jesus goes back to the Hebrew Scriptures and begins to quote from Isaiah. It is interesting that Jesus states that Isaiah prophesied of the Scribes and Pharisees as if Isaiah wrote his book recently. It shows how the Scriptures never lose their freshness and are always up to date.

Just as in the time of Isaiah, the same thing is repeated here. (Isa 29:13 KJV) Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: This describes false religion to a tee. The words are all there but the actions are steeped in disobedience. (Isa 30:10-11 KJV) Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: {11} Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us. Just as the false prophets were prophesying what the people wanted to hear by removing God from the equation, the Scribes and Pharisees were also attempting to shroud God and His law by their own traditions which could be adjusted any time they wanted and especially for their benefit. When God states that their heart was far from Him, it is another way of saying that these people are unsaved. Just as the people in the time of Isaiah wanted to hear nice things and not the law of God, the people in the time of Jesus were the same way as they learned from their leaders. If the people were obeying the traditions, they were happy because they believed they were pleasing God.

Mark 7:7 (KJB)
Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

The Apostle Paul in Colossians had dealt with the same type of situation. (Col 2:20-22 KJV) Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, {21} (Touch not; taste not; handle not; {22} Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? They were following the teachings of men and those teachings of men were but vanity. They had taught them as if they came from the hand of God but were the works of men. How many of these types of books do we see today? The following books are the extant works of men but are taught as if they were handed down by God: The Book of Mormon, The Divine principle by Moon, Urantia Book, Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, etc. Many religions teach the works of men as if they were the words of God. If what these people teach cannot be found in the Scriptures, then they are to be totally rejected. The Pharisees had such a system of beliefs that sounded good but was in opposition to the word of God. Much of their writings began back in Babylon during their captivity so they had over 500 years to destroy truth.

Mark 7:8 (KJB)
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

What these Pharisees did along with their predecessors was to literally lay aside the commandment of God. The word in the Greek for “laying aside” carries with it the meaning of “having left.” The word “commandment” is singular which means it is showing the unity of the Law. In other words, they left the entire law behind. This means they left the true teachings of God and allowed the works of their hands to take its place. They were more concerned about man made ceremonies such as the washing of pots and cups than they were the spiritual condition of the people. They literally had created their own new religion with their own set of works. These works made them look so religious and pious but the reality was they were as spiritually dead as one could possibly be.

Mark 7:9 (KJB)
And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

In the previous verse Jesus calls these the traditions of men when the Pharisees were calling it the traditions of the elders. Jesus gives them the proper title. These Pharisees had to reject and set aside God’s commandment because their man made religion would seriously clash with it. This way if they teach only their traditions, then there will be no challenges to it from the word of God by any of the people. The word “reject” is in the present tense which means it was a continuing practice for them to reject God’s word and they were doing it for hundreds of years. They displaced God’s infallible word with the fallible word of man. This is a practice which we see today. There are many rituals in churches which have nothing to do with keeping the word of God. Where do we find clergy in Scripture dressing up differently? Nowhere! Where do we find catechism in the Scriptures for the purpose of being confirmed so a person can become a member of a church? Then after they are confirmed, where do we find that they can take communion? Nowhere! Communion or the Lord’s Supper is for those who are born again no matter what age. I remember some years ago I spoke at an evangelism seminar in a Lutheran church and I noticed every time the pastor walked in front of the altar, he would stop and face it and then continue and this comes from a belief that Christ’s presence is on the altar during communion. Christ’s presence is in His children when they are born again in Him.

Mark 7:10 (KJB)
For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

Jesus then brings in the fifth commandment concerning honoring one’s mother and father. A child is not to just to obey and respect their parents but they are to go beyond that. They are to love them and physically care for them when they become old or to aid them if they hit hard times even before they reach old age. Those who fail to help their parents are showing their spiritual condition and if they refuse to help them and instead curse or speak evil of them, then they are to die the death. Those who do not help their parents are in essence showing that they despise them and not merely speaking it. What is in view concerning “the death” is the second death, that is, eternal damnation. That is how serious God takes His command for children to care for their parents.