Mark 7 and the socialization of men

Mark 7 is an excellent commentary on the second axiom of the socialization of men and women:

Thus, we have these two axioms:

1. The tendency of women’s socialization is to agree with each other and validate each other.

2. The tendency of men’s socialization is to be critical, challenging, ribbing, teasing, and mock insulting of each other.

Likewise, it has commentary on two different scenarios, one with the Pharisees and the disciples, and then it has commentary on what I talked about in Masculinity is the truth, Masculinity is the truth Part 2, and Framework for Offense and defense especially the art of the tease (in the form or what gamers would call a “neg” here).

Let’s explore the Scriptures.

Jesus begins by ripping the Pharisees a new one. Instead of straight correction, this was a firm rebuke straight from the Scriptures.

Mark 7 (NASB) — Followers of Tradition

1 The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, 2 and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they [a]carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; 4 and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they [b]cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the [c]washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) 5 The Pharisees and the scribes *asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” 6 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
7 ‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’
8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

9 He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to [d]be put to death’; 11 but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, [e]given to God),’ 12 you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; 13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”

After that Jesus continues in His line of teaching to all who would hear Him. Except later, His disciples don’t understand the parable and He mock insults their lack of understanding.

The Heart of Man

14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 16 [[f]If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”]

17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18 And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding (asunetos) also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and [g]is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, [h]fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, [i]envy, slander, [j]pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

The word Jesus uses for understanding is asunetos.

G801 — ἀσύνετος — asunetos — as-oon’-ay-tos

From G1 (as a negative particle) and G4908; unintelligent; by implication wicked: – foolish, without understanding.

Basically, he was calling them foolish because they couldn’t understand the parable of what He was talking about.

I think one of the interesting reasons men insult and criticize each other is that it helps to drive the point home that this is important to know and understand for us. It only works from men to other men, so women don’t try this to your men unless you want to be a nagging harpy.

Then after that Jesus goes on His way to a different region where he meets a woman:

The Syrophoenician Woman

24 Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre[k]. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; [l]yet He could not escape notice. 25 But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet. 26 Now the woman was a [m]Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not [n]good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered and *said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” 29 And He said to her, “Because of this [o]answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” 30 And going back to her home, she found the child [p]lying on the bed, the demon having left.

Jesus  goes straight to the heart with some indirect truth to the woman by using an analogy. It’s basically an “artful neg” if I was to refer to a “game technique.”

Jesus was calling her (and Gentiles) dogs. Dogs were not pets as we think of them now but scavenger animals and some of the lowest forms of life. Jesus stated in in Matthew,

Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

We instinctively have a revulsion of pigs because we know that they roll around in their own shit. Giving a pearl to pigs was akin to throwing it in the trash knowing that it would be dirtied beyond recognition and unsavable. Likewise, the same with dogs in those days.

In my opinion, Jesus was testing this woman to see if she had too much pride. It is a good test of pride because if women or men have an inordinate amount of pride then they will be offended, usually lash out, and leave. In this case, if the Syrophoenecian woman had too much pride and was lacking in humulity then she would get offended at Him for not helping her — as she was making the request of him — and not continue to believe and pursue healing for her daughter thinking that Jesus was “just another jerk.” If I was to compare it to women in today’s world, you can see how a “neg” would be useful for discerning pride and the entitlement factor in women.

The entirety of the Mark 7 passage also goes to show the difference between how Jesus speaks with men basically straight laying down the truth and berating them for not understanding, whereas with women He uses indirect truth to get his point across and test the faith of the woman.

Remember, masculinity was created by God. While “game” can indeed show us how some masculine concepts work in real life to women in this present age (albeit typically directed in an evil manner), we should know that it was not created by the gamers. Indeed, Jesus used many so-called “game techniques” in His ministry which was thousands of years before game was “invented.” It’s not game; it’s masculinity.

Don’t insult God by not giving credit where credit is due.

Instead of saying “hurr de durr, look Jesus was using game!” we can see how Jesus interacts with both men and women. We can learn from the best source of godly masculinity to see how to obliterate pride and spur each other on towards righteousness while learning how to be godly masculine men.

Masculinity is either godly or evil. Pursue godly masculinity.

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10 Responses to Mark 7 and the socialization of men

  1. Pingback: Body, Bodies | Quality of Life Ministries

  2. The Woman in Tyre seems to be the first recorded person to “get” a Parable in real-time. Then again, much of the insight of Jesus was hidden from the Apostles specifically so we could learn from them. (Mark does read a lot like a “Low Lights of Peter’s Life & Ministry” in places)

    But contrast the Faith and interaction with the Centurion in Luke 7:1-10. Both massive displays of Faith, but the interactions are so different. One feminine and one masculine. The contrast came to mind while reading your post.

  3. @ LG

    Good point. I should compare and contrast Jesus’ interaction with the Gentile centurion and the Syrophonecian woman. Much different.

  4. I’d also compare it to Samson’s story in Judges 14-16. Though that might more be for JoJ’s pedestal posts.

  5. Pingback: The masculinity of Jesus Part 1 | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  6. Pingback: Husbands win their wives with words | Reflections on Christianity and the manosphere

  7. mdavid says:

    When I was looking at Scriptures there were two things that stood out. The written Word which is Logos (John 1:1 in the beginning was the Word (Logos) and the Scriptures are also referred to as Logos)

    1) γράμματα or γραφὴ are generally used for Scripture in the NT, not logos.

    2) Logos means a lot, lot more than just the “written word” in Greek thinking and language. It’s more like “the divine reasoning” or such.

    3) γράμματα or γραφὴ or logos of course does not refer to “Scripture” by any precise definition, since there was/is no table of contents. The books were compiled by church council and they have taken 3 major spits: Jew/Christian (LXX/Heb 100 AD), East/West (73 vs 75 books 1000 AD), Traditional/Modern (73 vs 66 1500 AD). Today, most people calling themselves Christian disagree on what books are “Scripture” (>50% us 73 books, <30% use 66 books <20 use 75 books). Which makes sense, since Scripture (by any definition) is silent on the issue (making a mockery of the concept of "sola" scripture).

  8. @ mdavid

    Thanks. I think you posted this on the wrong article.

    I’ll change that on the two articles where that was written.

    Here’s what I changed the passages to:

    When I was looking at Scriptures there were two things that stood out. The Divine Expression or Jesus and His words which is Logos — John 1:1 in the beginning was the Word (Logos). You can think of Jesus and His fulfillment of the law with his teaching and actions as Logos. The all encompassing Scriptures themselves are referred to by either gramma (G1121 or graphe (G1124) (thanks to mdavid for the clarification). On the other hand, the spoken revelation of the Word is rhema.

    Rhema is powerful — as God (Logos) spoke the world into being (Rhema), and man shall not live by bread alone but from every Word (rhema) that comes from the mouth of God. This is why it’s important to pray out loud because the spoken Rhema word is powerful. Likewise, to others it gives life and death. The power of the tongue is enormous as it says in James, yet it is easily corrupted. Going back to the passage from Matthew 12 that I referenced earlier: “But I say unto you, That every idle word (Rhema) that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

    The goal of the leadership of the man in a Christian marriage is to spur his wife to have a deeper relationship with God. And it is through his Words (rhema) that he must speak life that washes and cleanses her as just as Christ does his Church.

  9. @ mdavid

    Also, what versions/translations of the Scripture have 75 books in them? I’d like to read the books that I haven’t read before.

    Just a Catholic version of the Scriptures?


    Scroll to the charts in the links.

    The short version is that the Protestant 66 are what we can all agree on.

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