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Matthew 15

The Tradition of the Elders
(Mark 7:1–13)

1 Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands before they eat.”

3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ a and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ b  5 But you say that if anyone says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever you would have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 he need not honor his father or mother with it. c Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you:

8 ‘These people honor Me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from Me.

9 They worship Me in vain;

they teach as doctrine the precepts of men.’ d

What Defiles a Man
(Mark 7:14–23)

10 Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 A man is not defiled by what enters his mouth, but by what comes out of it.”

12 Then the disciples came to Him and said, “Are You aware that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

13 But Jesus replied, “Every plant that My heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by its roots. 14 Disregard them! They are blind guides. e If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

15 Peter said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”

16 “Do you still not understand?” Jesus asked. 17 “Do you not yet realize that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then is eliminated? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, and slander. 20 These are what defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile him.”

The Faith of the Canaanite Woman
(Mark 7:24–30)

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And a Canaanite woman from that region came to Him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is miserably possessed by a demon.”

23 But Jesus did not answer a word. So His disciples came and urged Him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before Him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 But Jesus replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “even the dogs f eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 “O woman,” Jesus answered, “your faith is great! Let it be done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

The Feeding of the Four Thousand
(2 Kings 4:42–44; Mark 8:1–10)

29 Moving on from there, Jesus went along the Sea of Galilee. Then He went up on a mountain and sat down. 30 Large 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. 31 The crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.

32 Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion for this crowd, because 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 faint along the way.”

33 The disciples replied, “Where in this desolate place could we find enough bread to feed such a large crowd?”

34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.

“Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

35 And He instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Taking the seven loaves and the fish, He gave thanks and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.

37 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 A total of four thousand men were fed, in addition to women and children.

39 After Jesus had dismissed the crowds, He got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.



4 a Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16
4 b Exodus 21:17;Leviticus 20:9
6 c NE and TR (see also Mark 7:12); literally he need not honor his father or mother ; SBL, NA, WH, and BYZ do not include or mother .
9 d Isaiah 29:13 (see also LXX)
14 e Or blind guides of the blind
27 f Or puppies

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