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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
(Mk 7.1–13)
1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the Law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked him, 2“Why is it that your disciples disobey the teaching handed down by our ancestors? They don't wash their hands in the proper way before they eat!”
3Jesus answered, “And why do you disobey God's command and follow your own teaching? 4#Ex 20.12; 21.17; Deut 5.16; Lev 20.9For God said, ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses his father or his mother is to be put to death.’ 5But you teach that if a person has something he could use to help his father or mother, but says, ‘This belongs to God,’ 6he does not need to honour his father.#15.6 his father; some manuscripts have his father or mother. In this way you disregard God's command, in order to follow your own teaching. 7You hypocrites! How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you!
8 # Is 29.13 (LXX) ‘These people, says God, honour me with their words,
but their heart is really far away from me.
9 It is no use for them to worship me,
because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!’ ”
The Things that Make a Person Unclean
(Mk 7.14–23)
10Then Jesus called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand! 11It is not what goes into a person's mouth that makes him ritually unclean; rather, what comes out of it makes him unclean.”
12Then the disciples came to him and said, “Do you know that the Pharisees had their feelings hurt by what you said?”
13 “Every plant which my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up,” answered Jesus. 14#Lk 6.39“Don't worry about them! They are blind leaders of the blind; and when one blind man leads another, both fall into a ditch.”
15Peter spoke up, “Explain this saying to us.”
16Jesus said to them, “You are still no more intelligent than the others. 17Don't you understand? Anything that goes into a person's mouth goes into his stomach and then on out of his body. 18#Mt 12.34But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these are the things that make a person ritually unclean. 19For from his heart come the evil ideas which lead him to kill, commit adultery, and do other immoral things; to rob, lie, and slander others. 20These are the things that make a person unclean. But to eat without washing your hands as they say you should — this doesn't make a person unclean.”
A Woman's Faith
(Mk 7.24–30)
21Jesus left that place and went off to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman who lived in that region came to him. “Son of David!” she cried out. “Have mercy on me, sir! My daughter has a demon and is in a terrible condition.”
23But Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples came to him and begged him, “Send her away! She is following us and making all this noise!”
24Then Jesus replied, “I have been sent only to the lost sheep of the people of Israel.”
25At this the woman came and fell at his feet. “Help me, sir!” she said.
26Jesus answered, “It isn't right to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.”
27“That's true, sir,” she answered; “but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their masters' table.”
28So Jesus answered her, “You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you.” And at that very moment her daughter was healed.
Jesus Heals Many People
29Jesus left there and went along by Lake Galilee. He climbed a hill and sat down. 30Large crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the dumb, and many other sick people, whom they placed at Jesus' feet; and he healed them. 31The people were amazed as they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they praised the God of Israel.
Jesus Feeds Another Great Crowd
(Mk 8.1–10)
32Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I feel sorry for these people, because they have been with me for three days and now have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away without feeding them, for they might faint on their way home.”
33The disciples asked him, “Where will we find enough food in this desert to feed this crowd?”
34 “How much bread have you?” Jesus asked.
“Seven loaves,” they answered, “and a few small fish.”
35So Jesus ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks to God, broke them, and gave them to the disciples; and the disciples gave them to the people. 37They all ate and had enough. Then the disciples took up seven baskets full of pieces left over. 38The number of men who ate was 4,000, not counting the women and children.
39Then Jesus sent the people away, got into a boat, and went to the territory of Magadan.