What does Mark 7:17 mean?
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.
NKJV: When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable.
Verse Commentary:
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 BibleRef.com.
Verse Context:
Mark 7:14–23 contains Jesus' rebuttal to the Pharisees' beliefs about cleanness (Mark 7:1–5), by condemning their habit of rejecting God's law for their own tradition (Mark 7:6–13). Here, He goes into more detail about what actually makes someone unclean. After, He will live out His teaching of love over tradition by healing a Gentile girl then remaining in a Gentile area to heal and feed four thousand (Mark 7:31–8:10). A parallel description can be found in Matthew 15:10–20.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus counters another traditional error from the scribes and Pharisees, explaining that food in and of itself does not make a person unclean. Rather, it is the intent of the heart that matters to God. He specifically condemns traditions which effectively undo the original intent of God's commands. Jesus heals the daughter of a persistent Gentile woman, and a man suffering from deafness and a speech impediment.
Chapter Context:
After showing His authority over demons, death, and physics, Jesus asserts His superiority over manmade traditions. For generations, Jewish religious leaders have added to the Law in an attempt to keep the nation holy. Such traditions, however, serve to make the leaders look good but unnecessarily burden the people. Jesus argues in word and action that any law that dismisses love is either misinterpreted or manmade.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/30/2024 4:53:09 AM
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