The teaching of the ancestors
1Some Pharisees and several teachers of the Law of Moses from Jerusalem came and gathered around Jesus. 2They noticed that some of his disciples ate without first washing their hands.#7.2 without first washing their hands: The Jewish people had strict laws about washing their hands before eating, especially if they had been out in public.
3The Pharisees and many other Jewish people obey the teachings of their ancestors. They always wash their hands in the proper way#7.3 in the proper way: The Greek text has “with the fist”, but the exact meaning is not clear. It could mean “to the wrist” or “to the elbow”. before eating. 4None of them will eat anything they buy in the market until it is washed. They also follow a lot of other teachings, such as washing cups, jugs, and bowls.#7.4 bowls: Some manuscripts add “and sleeping mats”.
5The Pharisees and teachers asked Jesus, “Why don't your disciples obey what our ancestors taught us to do? Why do they eat without washing their hands?”
6 # Isa 29.13 (LXX). Jesus replied:
You are nothing but show-offs! The prophet Isaiah was right when he wrote that God had said,
“All of you praise me
with your words,
but you never really
think about me.
7It is useless for you
to worship me,
when you teach rules
made up by humans.”
8You disobey God's commands in order to obey what humans have taught. 9You are good at rejecting God's commands so that you can follow your own teachings! 10#Exod 20.12; Deut 5.16; Exod 21.17; Lev 20.9.Didn't Moses command you to respect your father and mother? Didn't he tell you to put to death all who curse their parents? 11But you let people get by without helping their parents when they should. You let them say that what they own has been offered to God.#7.11 has been offered to God: According to Jewish custom, when anything was offered to God, it could not be used for anyone else, not even for a person's parents. 12You won't let those people help their parents. 13And you ignore God's commands in order to follow your own teaching. You do a lot of other things that are just as bad.
What really makes people unclean
14Jesus called the crowd together again and said, “Pay attention and try to understand what I mean. 15-16The 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.”#7.15,16 unclean: Some manuscripts add, “If you have ears, pay attention.”
17After Jesus and his disciples had left the crowd and had gone into the house, they asked him what these sayings meant. 18He answered, “Don't you know what I am talking about by now? Surely you know that the food you put into your mouth cannot make you unclean. 19It doesn't go into your heart, but into your stomach, and then out of your body.” By saying this, Jesus meant that all foods were fit to eat.
20Then Jesus said:
What comes from your heart is what makes you unclean. 21Out of your heart come evil thoughts, vulgar deeds, stealing, murder, 22unfaithfulness in marriage, greed, meanness, deceit, indecency, envy, insults, pride, and foolishness. 23All these come from your heart, and they are what make you unfit to worship God.
A woman's faith
24Jesus left and went to the region near the city of Tyre, where he stayed in someone's home. He did not want people to know he was there, but they found out anyway. 25A woman whose daughter had an evil spirit in her heard where Jesus was. And straight away she came and knelt down at his feet. 26The woman was Greek and had been born in the part of Syria known as Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to force the demon out of her daughter. 27But Jesus said, “The children must first be fed! It isn't right to take away their food and feed it to dogs.”#7.27 feed it to dogs: The Jewish people often referred to Gentiles as dogs.
28The woman replied, “Lord, even dogs eat the crumbs that children drop from the table.”
29Jesus answered, “That's true! You may go now. The demon has left your daughter.” 30When the woman got back home, she found her child lying on the bed. The demon had gone.
Jesus heals a man who was deaf and could hardly talk
31Jesus left the region around Tyre and went by way of Sidon towards Lake Galilee. He went through the land near the ten cities known as Decapolis.#7.31 the ten cities known as Decapolis: See the note at 5.20. 32Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk. They begged Jesus just to touch him.
33After Jesus had taken him aside from the crowd, he stuck his fingers in the man's ears. Then he spat and put the spit on the man's tongue. 34Jesus looked up towards heaven, and with a groan he said, “Effatha!”#7.34 Effatha: This word is in Aramaic, a language spoken in Palestine during the time of Jesus. which means “Open up!” 35At once the man could hear, and he had no more trouble talking clearly.
36Jesus told the people not to say anything about what he had done. But the more he told them, the more they talked about it. 37They were completely amazed and said, “Everything he does is good! He even heals people who cannot hear or talk.”