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Matthew 15

15
What Makes People Unclean?
1Some Pharisees and teachers of the law came from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They complained, 2“Why don’t your disciples follow what the elders teach? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3Jesus answered, “Why don’t you follow God’s commands instead of your own teachings? 4God said, ‘Honor your father and mother.’ God also said, ‘Anyone who asks for bad things to happen to their father or mother must be put to death.’ 5Suppose someone has money they could use to help their parents. You tell them they can say it’s ‘a gift set apart only for God.’ 6Then they don’t need to use that money to honor their father or mother. If the word of God clashes with your own teachings, you say it doesn’t apply. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you,
8“ ‘These people honor me with their mouths,
but their hearts are far away from me.
9It’s useless for them to worship me,
because they’re teaching only human rules.’ ”
10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11What goes into a person’s mouth doesn’t make them unclean. What comes out of their mouth does.”
12Then the disciples came to him and said, “Did you know that the Pharisees got angry when they heard that?”
13Jesus replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father hasn’t planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Don’t worry about the Pharisees. They’re blind guides. If one blind person leads another, they’ll both fall into a pit.”
15Peter asked, “But what did you mean by what you said?”
16“Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus replied. 17“Don’t you see? Everything that enters the mouth goes into the stomach, and from there it goes out of the body. 18But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart. Those are the things that make someone unclean. 19Out of a person’s heart come cruel thoughts, murder, adultery, other sexual sins, stealing, false testimony, and lies. 20Those are the things that make you unclean. But eating without washing your hands doesn’t make you unclean.”
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
21Jesus left Galilee and went to the area of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman who lived near there came to him and cried out, “Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on me! A demon has been controlling my daughter and making her suffer terribly.”
23Jesus didn’t say a word. So his disciples came and begged him, “Tell her to go away! She keeps following us and crying out for help.”
24Jesus answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25Then the woman fell on her knees in front of him. “Lord! Help me!” she said.
26He replied, “It’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it out to the dogs.”
27“That’s true, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their owner’s table.”
28Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! You will receive what you’ve asked for.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand
29Jesus left there and walked along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30Large crowds came to him, bringing people who were blind, who couldn’t walk, who were disabled, who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them at his feet, and he healed them. Those who couldn’t speak started speaking, those with disabilities were made well, those who couldn’t walk started walking, and those who were blind became able to see. 31The people were amazed when they saw all this, and they praised the God of Israel.
32Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I’m concerned for these people because they’ve already been with me for three days and they’ve run out of food to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, because if I do, they may be too weak to make it back home.”
33His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread to feed this large crowd? We’re in the middle of nowhere.”
34“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”
35Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to the disciples. They passed them out to the people. 37Everyone ate as much as they wanted, and after that, the disciples picked up seven full baskets of leftover pieces. 38Just counting the men, they fed about 4,000 people, and there were many women and children as well. 39Jesus sent the crowd away, and then he got into the boat and went to the area near Magadan.
15
Obey God’s Law
1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem. They asked him, 2“Why don’t your followers obey the unwritten laws which have been handed down to us? They don’t wash their hands before they eat.”
3Jesus answered, “And why do you refuse to obey God’s command so that you can follow your own teachings? 4God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5But you say a person can tell his father or mother, ‘I have something I could use to help you, but I have given it to God already.’ 6You teach that person not to honor his father or his mother. You rejected what God said for the sake of your own rules. 7You are hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he said about you:
8‘These people show honor to me with words,
but their hearts are far from me.
9Their worship of me is worthless.
The things they teach are nothing but human rules.’ ”#Isaiah 29:13
10After Jesus called the crowd to him, he said, “Listen and understand what I am saying. 11It is not what people put into their mouths that makes them unclean. It is what comes out of their mouths that makes them unclean.”
12Then his followers came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees are angry because of what you said?”
13Jesus answered, “Every plant that my Father in heaven has not planted himself will be pulled up by the roots. 14Stay away from the Pharisees; they are blind leaders. And if a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a ditch.”
15Peter said, “Explain the example to us.”
16Jesus said, “Do you still not understand? 17Surely you know that all the food that enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then goes out of the body. 18But what people say with their mouths comes from the way they think; these are the things that make people unclean. 19Out of the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and speaking evil of others. 20These things make people unclean; eating with unwashed hands does not make them unclean.”
Jesus Helps a Non-Jewish Woman
21Jesus left that place and went to the area of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that area came to Jesus and cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter has a demon, and she is suffering very much.”
23But Jesus did not answer the woman. So his followers came to Jesus and begged him, “Tell the woman to go away. She is following us and shouting.”
24Jesus answered, “God sent me only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.”
25Then the woman came to Jesus again and bowed before him and said, “Lord, help me!”
26Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs.”
27The woman said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked.” And at that moment the woman’s daughter was healed.
Jesus Heals Many People
29After leaving there, Jesus went along the shore of Lake Galilee. He went up on a hill and sat there.
30Great crowds came to Jesus, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, those who could not speak, and many others. They put them at Jesus’ feet, and he healed them. 31The crowd was amazed when they saw that people who could not speak before were now able to speak. The crippled were made strong. The lame could walk, and the blind could see. And they praised the God of Israel for this.
More than Four Thousand Fed
32Jesus called his followers to him and said, “I feel sorry for these people, because they have already been with me three days, and they have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry. They might faint while going home.”
33His followers asked him, “How can we get enough bread to feed all these people? We are far away from any town.”
34Jesus asked, “How many loaves of bread do you have?”
They answered, “Seven, and a few small fish.”
35Jesus told the people to sit on the ground. 36He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks to God. Then he divided the food and gave it to his followers, and they gave it to the people. 37All the people ate and were satisfied. Then his followers filled seven baskets with the leftover pieces of food. 38There were about four thousand men there who ate, besides women and children. 39After sending the people home, Jesus got into the boat and went to the area of Magadan.