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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
That Which Defiles
1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’#15:4 Exodus 20:12; Deut. 5:16 and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’#15:4 Exodus 21:17; Lev. 20:9 5But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “ ‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’ # 15:9 Isaiah 29:13
10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
12Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
13He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides.#15:14 Some manuscripts blind guides of the blind If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
The Faith of a Canaanite Woman
21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
27“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
28Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand
29Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. 31The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
32Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”
33His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”
34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.
“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”
35He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. 39After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.