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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
The teaching of the ancestors
(Mark 7.1-13)
1About this time some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses came from Jerusalem. They asked Jesus, 2“Why don't your disciples obey what our ancestors taught us to do? They don't even wash their hands#15.2 wash their hands: The Jewish people had strict laws about washing their hands before eating, especially if they had been out in public. before they eat.”
3Jesus answered:
Why do you disobey God and follow your own teaching? 4Didn't God command you to respect your father and mother? Didn't he tell you to put to death all who curse their parents?#Ex 20.12; Dt 5.16; Ex 21.17; Lv 20.9. 5But you let people get by without helping their parents when they should. You let them say that what they have has been offered to God.#15.5 has been offered to God: According to Jewish custom, when people said something was offered to God, it belonged to him and could not be used for anyone else, not even for their own parents. 6Is this any way to show respect to your parents? You ignore God's commands in order to follow your own teaching. 7And you are nothing but show-offs! Isaiah the prophet was right when he wrote that God had said,
8“All of you praise me#Is 29.13 (LXX).
with your words,
but you never really
think about me.
9It is useless for you
to worship me,
when you teach rules
made up by humans.”
What really makes people unclean
(Mark 7.14-23)
10Jesus called the crowd together and said, “Pay attention and try to understand what I mean. 11The food that you put into your mouth doesn't make you unclean and unfit to worship God. The bad words that come out of your mouth are what make you unclean.”
12Then his disciples came over to him and asked, “Do you know that you insulted the Pharisees by what you said?”
13Jesus answered, “Every plant that my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up by the roots. 14Stay away from those Pharisees! They are like blind people leading other blind people, and all of them will fall into a ditch.”#Lk 6.39.
15Peter replied, “What did you mean when you talked about the things that make people unclean?”
16Jesus then said:
Don't any of you know what I am talking about by now? 17Don't you know that the food you put into your mouth goes into your stomach and then out of your body? 18But the words that come out of your mouth come from your heart. And they are what make you unfit to worship God.#Mt 12.34. 19Out of your heart come evil thoughts, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, vulgar deeds, stealing, telling lies, and insulting others. 20These are what make you unclean. Eating without washing your hands will not make you unfit to worship God.
A woman's faith
(Mark 7.24-30)
21Jesus left and went to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 22Suddenly a Canaanite woman#15.22 Canaanite woman: This woman was not Jewish. from there came out shouting, “Lord and Son of David,#15.22 Son of David: See the note at 9.27. have pity on me! My daughter is full of demons.” 23Jesus did not say a word. But the woman kept following along and shouting, so his disciples came up and asked him to send her away.
24Jesus said, “I was sent only to the people of Israel! They are like a flock of lost sheep.”
25The woman came closer. Then she knelt down and begged, “Please help me, Lord!”
26Jesus replied, “It isn't right to take food away from children and feed it to dogs.”#15.26 feed it to dogs: The Jewish people sometimes referred to Gentiles as dogs.
27“Lord, that's true,” the woman said, “but even dogs get the crumbs that fall from their owner's table.”
28Jesus answered, “Dear woman, you really do have a lot of faith, and you will be given what you want.” At that moment her daughter was healed.
Jesus heals many people
29From there, Jesus went along Lake Galilee. Then he climbed a hill and sat down. 30Large crowds came and brought many people who were crippled or blind or lame or unable to talk. They placed them, and many others, in front of Jesus, and he healed them all. 31Everyone was amazed at what they saw and heard. People who had never spoken could now speak. The lame were healed, the crippled could walk, and the blind were able to see. Everyone was praising the God of Israel.
Jesus feeds four thousand
(Mark 8.1-10)
32Jesus called his disciples together and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me for three days, and they don't have anything to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry. They might faint on their way home.”
33His disciples said, “This place is like a desert. Where can we find enough food to feed such a crowd?”
34Jesus asked them how much food they had. They replied, “Seven small loaves of bread#15.34 small loaves of bread: See the note at 14.17. and a few little fish.”
35After Jesus had told the people to sit down, 36he took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks. He then broke them and handed them to his disciples, who passed them around to the crowds.
37Everyone ate all they wanted, and the leftovers filled seven large baskets.
38There were four thousand men who ate, not counting the women and children.
39After Jesus had sent the crowds away, he got into a boat and sailed across the lake. He came to shore near the town of Magadan.#15.39 Magadan: The location is unknown.