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Verses 14-16

Mark 7:14-16. When he had called all the people unto him See note on Matthew 15:10-11. He said, Hearken unto me, every one of you As if he had said, Hear how absurd the precepts are which the scribes inculcate upon you, and understand the true differences of things. These hypocrites, anxious about trifles, neglect the great duties of godliness and righteousness, which are of unchangeable obligation. They shudder with horror at hands unwashed, but are perfectly easy under the guilt of impure minds, although not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, in the sight of God, but that which cometh out of the mouth; because, in the sight of God, cleanness and uncleanness are qualities, not of the body, but of the mind, which can be polluted by nothing but sin. Our Lord did not at all mean to overthrow the distinction which the law had established between things clean and unclean, in the matter of man’s food. That distinction, like all the other emblematical institutions of Moses, was wisely appointed; being designed to teach the Israelites how carefully the familiar company and conversation of the wicked is to be avoided. He only affirmed, that in itself no kind of meat can defile the mind, which is the man, though by accident it may: as when a man eats what is pernicious to his health, or takes an improper quantity of food or liquor. And a Jew might have done it by presumptuously eating what was forbidden by the Mosaic law, which still continued in force: yet in all these instances, the pollution would arise from the wickedness of the heart, and be just proportionable to it, which is what our Lord here asserts.

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