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Matthew 15 Living Bible (TLB)

15 Some Pharisees and other Jewish leaders now arrived from Jerusalem to interview Jesus.

“Why do your disciples disobey the ancient Jewish traditions?” they demanded. “For they ignore our ritual of ceremonial handwashing before they eat.” He replied, “And why do your traditions violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God’s law is ‘Honor your father and mother; anyone who reviles his parents must die.’ 5-6 But you say, ‘Even if your parents are in need, you may give their support money to the church[a] instead.’ And so, by your man-made rule, you nullify the direct command of God to honor and care for your parents. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, ‘These people say they honor me, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is worthless, for they teach their man-made laws instead of those from God.’[b]

10 Then Jesus called to the crowds and said, “Listen to what I say and try to understand: 11 You aren’t made unholy by eating nonkosher food! It is what you say and think that makes you unclean.”[c]

12 Then the disciples came and told him, “You offended the Pharisees by that remark.”

13-14 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my Father shall be rooted up, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and both will fall into a ditch.”

15 Then Peter asked Jesus to explain what he meant when he said that people are not defiled by nonkosher food.

16 “Don’t you understand?” Jesus asked him. 17 “Don’t you see that anything you eat passes through the digestive tract and out again? 18 But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the man who says them. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile; but there is no spiritual defilement from eating without first going through the ritual of ceremonial handwashing!”

21 Jesus then left that part of the country and walked the fifty miles to Tyre and Sidon.[d]

22 A woman from Canaan who was living there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, King David’s Son! For my daughter has a demon within her, and it torments her constantly.”

23 But Jesus gave her no reply—not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to get going,” they said, “for she is bothering us with all her begging.”

24 Then he said to the woman, “I was sent to help the Jews—the lost sheep of Israel—not the Gentiles.”

25 But she came and worshiped him and pled again, “Sir, help me!”

26 “It doesn’t seem right to take bread from the children and throw it to the dogs,” he said.

27 “Yes, it is!” she replied, “for even the puppies beneath the table are permitted to eat the crumbs that fall.”

28 “Woman,” Jesus told her, “your faith is large, and your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed right then.

29 Jesus now returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat there. 30 And a vast crowd brought him their lame, blind, maimed, and those who couldn’t speak, and many others, and laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all. 31 What a spectacle it was! Those who hadn’t been able to say a word before were talking excitedly, and those with missing arms and legs had new ones; the crippled were walking and jumping around, and those who had been blind were gazing about them! The crowds just marveled and praised the God of Israel.

32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I pity these people—they’ve been here with me for three days now and have nothing left to eat; I don’t want to send them away hungry or they will faint along the road.”

33 The disciples replied, “And where would we get enough here in the desert for all this mob to eat?”

34 Jesus asked them, “How much food do you have?” And they replied, “Seven loaves of bread and a few small fish!”

35 Then Jesus told all of the people to sit down on the ground, 36 and he took the seven loaves and the fish, and gave thanks to God for them, and divided them into pieces, and gave them to the disciples who presented them to the crowd. 37-38 And everyone ate until full—four thousand men besides the women and children! And afterwards, when the scraps were picked up, there were seven basketfuls left over!

39 Then Jesus sent the people home and got into the boat and crossed to Magadan.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 15:5 to the church, literally, “to God.”
  2. Matthew 15:9 those from God, see Isaiah 29:13.
  3. Matthew 15:11 It is what you say and think that makes you unclean, implied; literally, “What comes out of a man defiles a man.”
  4. Matthew 15:21 walked the fifty miles, implied; literally, “withdrew into the parts of Tyre and Sidon.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. 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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