Mark 7: Bible Study

Written by Iain Greensheilds   





Our studies at the moment are exploring the Gospel of Mark – most probably dictated to Mark by the apostle Peter. Each week a chapter will be chosen as we systematically work our way through the gospel. The minister will take a section of that chapter to preach on but over 5 of the 7 days in that week you will have the opportunity to read that chapter for yourselves as we explore together the life of Jesus. If you have any questions as you study please do not hesitate to either email the minister or contact him by phone – he will be delighted to help.


Day 1 Read Mark chapter 7

Jesus’ words at the beginning of chapter 7 seem like an assault on the religion of the day, and at the same time a clear agenda for the kind of religious faith that He sees as acceptable - it almost has the ring of one of the Old Testament Prophets. He does not always make life easy or comfortable for us. Try to read through the chapter a few times and note down anything that challenges you.



Day 2 Read Mark 7:1-13

The traditionalism that had grown up among some of the religious leaders had created a religion controlled by man rather than a revelation of God to be lived out by people.


  • The Pharisees were obsessed with “externals” – describe some of them and then think about  modern equivalents – try and be honest!


Verses 9-12 need explanation. The command to honour your parents included looking after them in their old age. The Pharisees calculated a way of bypassing this by saying, “Instead of giving this money to my parents, I can bank it as God’s money.”  We can all find ways of evading the clear commands of God and hiding behind man-made teaching or tradition to justify our wrongdoing.


  • What are our excuses for not doing what God is plainly asking us to do?




Day 3 Read Mark 7:14-23


  • How does Jesus argue His case in the first few verses about “externalism”?



Jesus then takes us inside ourselves. The “heart” in the Bible has nothing to do with the physical body - it is that part inside of us that makes all of our decisions – our will, intellect and emotions, all rolled into one.

Sin is like a weed – you have to get down into the roots and clear it out rather than just dealing with what is on the surface – and we all need help to do this. Think carefully about the list Jesus gives –



  • what are your deep-rooted sins? Get into your thought life and begin to weed it/them out with the help of God.



Day 4 Read Mark 7: 7-30

It almost seems as if Jesus is teasing this woman. There are times in the Gospels where Jesus “pushes” people in order to get them into the place where they “get it” and this is one of these incidents. Look at the confidence she has in Jesus –


  • how does that challenge you?


Notice that she did not need to bring her daughter to Jesus physically for her to be healed –


  • think for a moment on how that thought should impact upon our prayer life!



Day 5 Read Mark 7: 31-37

Notice that it is the people who begged Jesus on behalf of the deaf man to have him healed – what a powerful image that is of intercession and how Jesus responds when we come to him and pray on behalf of other people. Notice too that Jesus is not seeking personal adulation – He is quite willing to take the man to a quiet place and heal him rather than seeking publicity. That challenges much of what we see at contemporary healing services! He respects the man rather than using him as a stunt. Jesus “deeply sighs” as he heals the man – a sign of strong emotion and maybe also a sign of the personal cost to Jesus as power goes out from Him when he heals the man – the impact on the crowd is instant.