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Matthew 15 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Tradition of the Elders

15 Then Jesus was approached by Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem, who asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat.”[a]

He answered them, “Why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition? For God said:[b] Honor your father and your mother;[c] and, Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.[d] But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift committed to the temple,” he does not have to honor his father.’[e] In this way, you have nullified the word of God[f] because of your tradition. Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said:

This people[g] honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me.
They worship me in vain,
teaching as doctrines human commands.[h]

Defilement Is from Within

10 Summoning the crowd, he told them, “Listen and understand: 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth—this defiles a person.”

12 Then the disciples came up and told him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?”

13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted. 14 Leave them alone! They are blind guides.[i] And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

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

16 “Do you still lack understanding?” he[j] asked. 17 “Don’t you realize[k] that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated?[l] 18 But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slander. 20 These are the things that defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a person.”

A Gentile Mother’s Faith

21 When Jesus left there, he withdrew to the area of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out,[m] “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely tormented by a demon.”

23 Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples approached him and urged him, “Send her away because she’s crying out after us.”

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

25 But she came, knelt before him, and said, “Lord, help me!”

26 He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

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

28 Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment[n] her daughter was healed.

Healing Many People

29 Moving on from there, Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee. He went up on a mountain and sat there, 30 and large crowds came to him, including the lame, the blind, the crippled, those unable to speak, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he healed them. 31 So the crowd was amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the crippled restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they gave glory to the God of Israel.

Feeding of the Four Thousand

32 Jesus called his disciples and said, “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with me three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, otherwise they might collapse on the way.”

33 The disciples said to him, “Where could we get enough bread in this desolate place to feed such a crowd?”

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

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

35 After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke them, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. They collected the leftover pieces—seven large baskets full. 38 Now there were four thousand men who had eaten, besides women and children. 39 After dismissing the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.[o]

Footnotes:

  1. 15:2 Lit eat bread = eat a meal
  2. 15:4 Other mss read commanded, saying
  3. 15:4 Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16
  4. 15:4 Ex 21:17; Lv 20:9
  5. 15:6 Other mss read then he does not have to honor his father or mother
  6. 15:6 Other mss read commandment
  7. 15:8 Other mss add draw near to me with their mouths, and
  8. 15:8-9 Is 29:13 LXX
  9. 15:14 Other mss add for the blind
  10. 15:16 Other mss read Jesus
  11. 15:17 Other mss add yet
  12. 15:17 Lit and goes out into the toilet
  13. 15:22 Other mss read and cried out to him
  14. 15:28 Lit hour
  15. 15:39 Other mss read Magdala
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Matthew 15 New International Version (NIV)

That Which Defiles

15 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”

Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.[c]

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides.[d] If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”

16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him 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 Israel.”

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

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

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

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

29 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. 30 Great 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 people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

32 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; 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 collapse on the way.”

33 His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

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

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

35 He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. 37 They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 38 The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 15:4 Exodus 20:12; Deut. 5:16
  2. Matthew 15:4 Exodus 21:17; Lev. 20:9
  3. Matthew 15:9 Isaiah 29:13
  4. Matthew 15:14 Some manuscripts blind guides of the blind
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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