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Matthew 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.

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