This long section dealing with defilement begins with a question from the Pharisees about eating with unwashed hands (verse 7). Christ's answer never strays from this point; He is addressing ritual washings that the Jews added (verses 7-9), not unclean meats. Verse 19, however, is often cited as proof that Jesus declared all foods clean. Yet He is speaking about the human digestive system! He says that whether one washes his hands or not, the digestive tract handles, or "purifies," all food the same way. He then moves to the more serious issue of a man's conduct, which is what truly defiles him.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Clean and Unclean Meats
Notice the contrast. All the energy they were expending was being done on traditions of men. Jesus implies, "Why don't you expend your energy, time, and effort keeping the commands of God? Then you'll be doing something to do with God and pleasing Him."
John W. Ritenbaugh
Love and Works
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Mark 7:10: