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Mark 7:17

ESV And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable.
NIV After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.
NASB And when He later entered a house, away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him about the parable.
CSB When he went into the house away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about the parable.
NLT Then Jesus went into a house to get away from the crowd, and his disciples asked him what he meant by the parable he had just used.
KJV And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.

What does Mark 7:17 mean?

The location of the confrontation with the scribes and Pharisees and the ensuing explanation with the disciples isn't given, although "the house" typically means Peter and Andrew's residence in Capernaum. The use of "disciples" frequently indicates that Jesus is speaking to more than just the Twelve.

"Parable" comes from the Greek root word parabole, which is a story that uses a metaphor to reveal a spiritual truth. A "parable" can also be a pithy saying or proverb. Jesus uses parables when He teaches to crowds (Mark 4:33–34). Later, when the disciples ask, He goes into a more in-depth explanation (Mark 4:10, 33–34). It's reasonable for those listening to think His statement that what goes into a person cannot make him unclean (Mark 7:15) is a parable, although Mark 7:19 suggests that Jesus is also being literal, building on the fact that these scribes and Pharisees thought unwashed hands made kosher food unclean.

Whatever missteps the disciples make in their journey to understand Jesus' teaching, their dogged devotion to Him is something we should all emulate. Going to church and hearing the preaching with "the crowd" is a good starting point, but church attendance doesn't make a disciple. We need quieter settings and smaller groups to really understand God's Word. That may include a Bible study, a private meeting with the pastor, or individual study time with prayer and a commentary such as
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