Matthew 15
Obey God’s Law Not Men’s
1Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem. They asked him, 2“Why do your followers not obey the rules given to us by the great people who lived before us? Your followers 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 those rules you have? 4God said, ‘Honor your father and mother.’# Quotation from Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16. And God also said, ‘Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.’# Quotation from Exodus 21:17. 5But you say that a person can tell his father or mother, ‘I have something I could use to help you. But I will not use it for you. I will give it to God.’ 6You teach that person not to honor his father. You teach that it is not important to do what God said. You think that it is more important to follow the rules you have. 7You are hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he spoke 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 they have memorized.’” Isaiah 29:13
10Jesus called the crowd to him. He said, “Listen and understand what I am saying. 11It is not what a person puts into his mouth that makes him unclean. It is what comes out of his mouth that makes him unclean.”
12Then his followers came to Jesus 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.# Some Greek copies continue, “of blind people.” And if a blind man leads another blind man, then both men will fall into a ditch.”
15Peter said, “Explain the story to us.”
16Jesus said, “You still have trouble understanding? 17Surely you know that all the food that enters the mouth goes into the stomach. Then that food goes out of the body. 18But what a person says with his mouth comes from the way he thinks. And these are the things that make him unclean. 19Out of the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, stealing, lying, and saying bad things against other people. 20These things make a person unclean. But eating with unwashed hands does not make him 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. The woman cried out, “Lord, Son of David, please help me! My daughter has a demon, and she is suffering very much.”
23But Jesus did not answer the woman. So the 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. She 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 pieces of food that fall from their masters’ table.”
28Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked me to do.” And at that moment the woman’s daughter was healed.
Jesus Heals Many People
29Then Jesus left that place and went to the shore of Lake Galilee. He went up on a hill and sat there.
30Great crowds came to Jesus. They brought their sick with them: the lame, the blind, the crippled, the dumb 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 were able to speak again. The crippled were made strong again. Those who could not walk were able to walk again. The blind were able to see again. And they praised the God of Israel for this.
More Than 4,000 People Fed
32Jesus called his followers to him and said, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me three days, and now they have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry. They might faint while going home.”
33His followers asked him, “Where 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, “We have seven loaves 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 for the food. Then Jesus divided the food and gave it to his followers. They gave the food to the people. 37All the people ate and were satisfied. After this, the followers filled seven baskets with the pieces of food that were not eaten. 38There were about 4,000 men there who ate, besides women and children. 39After they ate, Jesus told the people to go home. He got into the boat and went to the area of Magadan.
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