Mark 7-9 Common English Bible (CEB)
What contaminates a life?
7 The Pharisees and some legal experts from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. 2 They saw some of his disciples eating food with unclean hands. (They were eating without first ritually purifying their hands through washing. 3 The Pharisees and all the Jews don’t eat without first washing their hands carefully. This is a way of observing the rules handed down by the elders. 4 Upon returning from the marketplace, they don’t eat without first immersing themselves. They observe many other rules that have been handed down, such as the washing of cups, jugs, pans, and sleeping mats.) 5 So the Pharisees and legal experts asked Jesus, “Why are your disciples not living according to the rules handed down by the elders but instead eat food with ritually unclean hands?”
6 He replied, “Isaiah really knew what he was talking about when he prophesied about you hypocrites. He wrote,
This people honors me with their lips,
8 You ignore God’s commandment while holding on to rules created by humans and handed down to you.” 9 Jesus continued, “Clearly, you are experts at rejecting God’s commandment in order to establish these rules. 10 Moses said, Honor your father and your mother,[b] and The person who speaks against father or mother will certainly be put to death.[c] 11 But you say, ‘If you tell your father or mother, “Everything I’m expected to contribute to you is corban (that is, a gift I’m giving to God),” 12 then you are no longer required to care for your father or mother.’ 13 In this way you do away with God’s word in favor of the rules handed down to you, which you pass on to others. And you do a lot of other things just like that.”
14 Then Jesus called the crowd again and said, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand. 15 Nothing outside of a person can enter and contaminate a person in God’s sight; rather, the things that come out of a person contaminate the person.”[d]
17 After leaving the crowd, he entered a house where his disciples asked him about that riddle. 18 He said to them, “Don’t you understand either? Don’t you know that nothing from the outside that enters a person has the power to contaminate? 19 That’s because it doesn’t enter into the heart but into the stomach, and it goes out into the sewer.” By saying this, Jesus declared that no food could contaminate a person in God’s sight. 20 “It’s what comes out of a person that contaminates someone in God’s sight,” he said. 21 “It’s from the inside, from the human heart, that evil thoughts come: sexual sins, thefts, murders, 22 adultery, greed, evil actions, deceit, unrestrained immorality, envy, insults, arrogance, and foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from the inside and contaminate a person in God’s sight.”
An immigrant’s daughter is delivered
24 Jesus left that place and went into the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know that he had entered a house, but he couldn’t hide. 25 In fact, a woman whose young daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit heard about him right away. She came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was Greek, Syrophoenician by birth. She begged Jesus to throw the demon out of her daughter. 27 He responded, “The children have to be fed first. It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
28 But she answered, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29 “Good answer!” he said. “Go on home. The demon has already left your daughter.” 30 When she returned to her house, she found the child lying on the bed and the demon gone.
A deaf man is healed
31 After leaving the region of Tyre, Jesus went through Sidon toward the Galilee Sea through the region of the Ten Cities. 32 Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly speak, and they begged him to place his hand on the man for healing. 33 Jesus took him away from the crowd by himself and put his fingers in the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 Looking into heaven, Jesus sighed deeply and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Open up.” 35 At once, his ears opened, his twisted tongue was released, and he began to speak clearly.
36 Jesus gave the people strict orders not to tell anyone. But the more he tried to silence them, the more eagerly they shared the news. 37 People were overcome with wonder, saying, “He does everything well! He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who can’t speak.”
Jesus feeds four thousand people
8 In those days there was another large crowd with nothing to eat. Jesus called his disciples and told them, 2 “I feel sorry for the crowd because they have been with me for three days and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them away hungry to their homes, they won’t have enough strength to travel, for some have come a long distance.”
4 His disciples responded, “How can anyone get enough food in this wilderness to satisfy these people?”
5 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”
They said, “Seven loaves.”
6 He told the crowd to sit on the ground. He took the seven loaves, gave thanks, broke them apart, and gave them to his disciples to distribute; and they gave the bread to the crowd. 7 They also had a few fish. He said a blessing over them, then gave them to the disciples to hand out also. 8 They ate until they were full. They collected seven baskets full of leftovers. 9 This was a crowd of about four thousand people! Jesus sent them away, 10 then got into a boat with his disciples and went over to the region of Dalmanutha.
Looking for proof
11 The Pharisees showed up and began to argue with Jesus. To test him, they asked for a sign from heaven. 12 With an impatient sigh, Jesus said, “Why does this generation look for a sign? I assure you that no sign will be given to it.” 13 Leaving them, he got back in the boat and crossed to the other side of the lake.
Understanding about the bread
14 Jesus’ disciples had forgotten to bring any bread, so they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 He gave them strict orders: “Watch out and be on your guard for the yeast of the Pharisees as well as the yeast of Herod.”
16 The disciples discussed this among themselves, “He said this because we have no bread.”
17 Jesus knew what they were discussing and said, “Why are you talking about the fact that you don’t have any bread? Don’t you grasp what has happened? Don’t you understand? Are your hearts so resistant to what God is doing? 18 Don’t you have eyes? Why can’t you see? Don’t you have ears? Why can’t you hear? Don’t you remember? 19 When I broke five loaves of bread for those five thousand people, how many baskets full of leftovers did you gather?”
They answered, “Twelve.”
20 “And when I broke seven loaves of bread for those four thousand people, how many baskets full of leftovers did you gather?”
They answered, “Seven.”
21 Jesus said to them, “And you still don’t understand?”
A blind man is healed
22 Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch and heal him. 23 Taking the blind man’s hand, Jesus led him out of the village. After spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on the man, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”
24 The man looked up and said, “I see people. They look like trees, only they are walking around.”
25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again. He looked with his eyes wide open, his sight was restored, and he could see everything clearly. 26 Then Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t go into the village!”
Jesus predicts his death
27 Jesus and his disciples went into the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”
28 They told him, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others one of the prophets.”
29 He asked them, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Christ.” 30 Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
31 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Human One[e] must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead.” 32 He said this plainly. But Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him. 33 Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.”
34 After calling the crowd together with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 35 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. 36 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? 37 What will people give in exchange for their lives? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Human One[f] will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels.” 9 1 Jesus continued, “I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see God’s kingdom arrive in power.”
2 Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain where they were alone. He was transformed in front of them, 3 and his clothes were amazingly bright, brighter than if they had been bleached white. 4 Elijah and Moses appeared and were talking with Jesus. 5 Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s make three shrines—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6 He said this because he didn’t know how to respond, for the three of them were terrified.
7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice spoke from the cloud, “This is my Son, whom I dearly love. Listen to him!” 8 Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus.
9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen until after the Human One[g] had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept it to themselves, wondering, “What’s this ‘rising from the dead’?” 11 They asked Jesus, “Why do the legal experts say that Elijah must come first?”
12 He answered, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. Why was it written that the Human One[h] would suffer many things and be rejected? 13 In fact, I tell you that Elijah has come, but they did to him whatever they wanted, just as it was written about him.”
A demon-possessed boy
14 When Jesus, Peter, James, and John approached the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them and legal experts arguing with them. 15 Suddenly the whole crowd caught sight of Jesus. They ran to greet him, overcome with excitement. 16 Jesus asked them, “What are you arguing about?”
17 Someone from the crowd responded, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, since he has a spirit that doesn’t allow him to speak. 18 Wherever it overpowers him, it throws him into a fit. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and stiffens up. So I spoke to your disciples to see if they could throw it out, but they couldn’t.”
19 Jesus answered them, “You faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I put up with you? Bring him to me.”
20 They brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a fit. He fell on the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been going on?”
He said, “Since he was a child. 22 It has often thrown him into a fire or into water trying to kill him. If you can do anything, help us! Show us compassion!”
23 Jesus said to him, “‘If you can do anything’? All things are possible for the one who has faith.”
24 At that the boy’s father cried out, “I have faith; help my lack of faith!”
25 Noticing that the crowd had surged together, Jesus spoke harshly to the unclean spirit, “Mute and deaf spirit, I command you to come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 After screaming and shaking the boy horribly, the spirit came out. The boy seemed to be dead; in fact, several people said that he had died. 27 But Jesus took his hand, lifted him up, and he arose.
28 After Jesus went into a house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we throw this spirit out?”
29 Jesus answered, “Throwing this kind of spirit out requires prayer.”
Jesus predicts his death
30 From there Jesus and his followers went through Galilee, but he didn’t want anyone to know it. 31 This was because he was teaching his disciples, “The Human One[i] will be delivered into human hands. They will kill him. Three days after he is killed he will rise up.” 32 But they didn’t understand this kind of talk, and they were afraid to ask him.
33 They entered Capernaum. When they had come into a house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about during the journey?” 34 They didn’t respond, since on the way they had been debating with each other about who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be least of all and the servant of all.” 36 Jesus reached for a little child, placed him among the Twelve, and embraced him. Then he said, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me isn’t actually welcoming me but rather the one who sent me.”
Recognize your allies
38 John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone throwing demons out in your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn’t following us.”
39 Jesus replied, “Don’t stop him. No one who does powerful acts in my name can quickly turn around and curse me. 40 Whoever isn’t against us is for us. 41 I assure you that whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will certainly be rewarded.
42 “As for whoever causes these little ones who believe in me to trip and fall into sin, it would be better for them to have a huge stone hung around their necks and to be thrown into the lake. 43 If your hand causes you to fall into sin, chop it off. It’s better for you to enter into life crippled than to go away with two hands into the fire of hell, which can’t be put out.[j] 45 If your foot causes you to fall into sin, chop it off. It’s better for you to enter life lame than to be thrown into hell with two feet.[k] 47 If your eye causes you to fall into sin, tear it out. It’s better for you to enter God’s kingdom with one eye than to be thrown into hell with two. 48 That’s a place where worms don’t die and the fire never goes out.[l] 49 Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good; but if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? Maintain salt among yourselves and keep peace with each other.”