Mark 7:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 7:14, NIV: Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, 'Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.

Mark 7:14, ESV: And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand:

Mark 7:14, KJV: And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand:

Mark 7:14, NASB: After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, 'Listen to Me, all of you, and understand:

Mark 7:14, NLT: Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. 'All of you listen,' he said, 'and try to understand.

Mark 7:14, CSB: Summoning the crowd again, he told them, "Listen to me, all of you, and understand:

What does Mark 7:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has had altercations with the scribes and Pharisees before, most notably regarding associating with sinners (Mark 2:15–17), "working" on the Sabbath (Mark 2:23–28; 3:1–6), and where His authority comes from (Mark 3:22–30). In this passage, He not only decisively shuts down the religious leaders' authority, Jesus very carefully explains why they are wrong.

"Hear" is from the Greek root word akouo and means to pay attention and learn. "Understand" comes from the Greek root word suniemi and means to fit all the little pieces together until you comprehend the main idea and how to apply it. Jesus wants the people to really understand what cleanness and uncleanness mean and how the scribes and Pharisees show hypocrisy in their definitions and applications. Their teaching disrespects God and harms the people both physically and spiritually. Physically, their added traditions create a burden of time and resources God never intended (Matthew 23:2–4). It is spiritually harmful because they teach the people that following extra-scriptural tradition is more important than their heart's attitude (Matthew 5:21–48).

Too often young Christians leap into teaching and serving roles before they have studied what they believe. There are few things more dangerous for a Christian than trying to defend the gospel without understanding it. Jesus' call to hear and understand applies to all of us.