Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible

Mark Ch.7 / 16 Ch.s


* The traditions of the elders. (1-13) What defiles the man.
(14-23) The woman of Canaan's daughter cured. (24-30) Christ
restores a man to hearing and speech. (31-37)

#1-13 One great design of Christ's coming was, to set aside the
ceremonial law; and to make way for this, he rejects the
ceremonies men added to the law of God's making. Those clean
hands and that pure heart which Christ bestows on his disciples,
and requires of them, are very different from the outward and
superstitious forms of Pharisees of every age. Jesus reproves
them for rejecting the commandment of God. It is clear that it
is the duty of children, if their parents are poor, to relieve
them as far as they are able; and if children deserve to die
that curse their parents, much more those that starve them. But
if a man conformed to the traditions of the Pharisees, they
found a device to free him from the claim of this duty.

#14-23 Our wicked thoughts and affections, words and actions,
defile us, and these only. As a corrupt fountain sends forth
corrupt streams, so does a corrupt heart send forth corrupt
reasonings, corrupt appetites and passions, and all the wicked
words and actions that come from them. A spiritual understanding
of the law of God, and a sense of the evil of sin, will cause a
man to seek for the grace of the Holy Spirit, to keep down the
evil thoughts and affections that work within.

#24-30 Christ never put any from him that fell at his feet,
which a poor trembling soul may do. As she was a good woman, so
a good mother. This sent her to Christ. His saying, Let the
children first be filled, shows that there was mercy for the
Gentiles, and not far off. She spoke, not as making light of the
mercy, but magnifying the abundance of miraculous cures among
the Jews, in comparison with which a single cure was but as a
crumb. Thus, while proud Pharisees are left by the blessed
Saviour, he manifests his compassion to poor humbled sinners,
who look to him for children's bread. He still goes about to
seek and save the lost.

#31-37 Here is a cure of one that was deaf and dumb. Those who
brought this poor man to Christ, besought him to observe the
case, and put forth his power. Our Lord used more outward
actions in the doing of this cure than usual. These were only
signs of Christ's power to cure the man, to encourage his faith,
and theirs that brought him. Though we find great variety in the
cases and manner of relief of those who applied to Christ, yet
all obtained the relief they sought. Thus it still is in the
great concerns of our souls.