The Gospel according to Matthew

15:1Then Pharisees and scripture scholars came from Jerusalem and said to Jesus,15:2“Why is it that your disciples violate the tradition of the elders by not ceremonially washing their hands before they eat?”

15:3“And why do you violate the command of God with your traditions?” Jesus retorted.15:4“For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother; whoever speaks abusively against their father or mother must be put to death.‘15:5But you say that someone can get out of helping their father or mother by telling them, ‘Any help you would have received from me is a gift [to God]’.15:6So you override the word of God by your tradition!15:7Pedants! Isaiah prophesied about you very well when he said,15:8‘These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far away from me.15:9They revere me for no reason, and their teachings are the edicts of mere humans.’ ”

15:10He called the crowd to himself and said to them, “Listen and understand:15:11It isn’t what goes into the mouth that makes a person ‘unclean’, it’s what comes out of the mouth.”

15:12Then his disciples came to him and said, “Do you realize that the Pharisees were offended by what you said?”

15:13And Jesus replied, “Every plant that my Father in heaven didn’t plant will be uprooted!15:14Leave them; they are blind leaders of the blind. And if one blind person leads another, both will fall into a ditch.”

15:15Then Peter asked him to explain the object lesson,15:16and Jesus replied, “Are you really that dense?15:17Don’t you understand that everything that goes into the mouth goes through the belly, then into the toilet?15:18But what comes out of the mouth comes from the mind, and that’s what contaminates a person.15:19From the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, promiscuity, theft, false testimony, and slander;15:20these are what contaminate a person, not how they wash their hands before eating!”

15:21From there, Jesus went away to the areas of Tyre and Sidon.15:22Suddenly there was a Canaanite woman from around there, and she shouted out, “Have pity on me, sir, Descendant of David! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.”15:23But he did not respond to her. So his disciples went up to him and said, “Dismiss her, because she’s shouting at us!”

15:24Then he said to her, “I was only sent to the lost sheep of Israel.”

15:25But she came and worshiped him and said, “Sir, please help!”

15:26“We shouldn’t take the children’s food and toss it to the puppies,” he replied.

15:27“Yes, sir,” countered the woman. “But the puppies do get the scraps that fall from their master’s table.”

15:28“Dear lady,” Jesus replied, “You have great faith! What you wanted will happen.” And her daughter was healed that very hour.

15:29Next Jesus went from there to the edge of the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up the mountain and sat down.15:30Crowds of people came to him, bringing the lame the blind, the crippled, the deaf, and many others. They were placed at Jesus’ feet, and he healed them.15:31It impressed the crowd very much to see the deaf/mute talking, the crippled well, the lame walking around, and the blind seeing. So they honored the God of Israel.

15:32Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I am moved with compassion for the crowd, because they’ve already been here with me for three days and have nothing to eat. But if I dismiss them without food, they might faint along the way.”

15:33“Where are we supposed to get enough food to satisfy a crowd like this in such a desolate place?” his disciples asked.

15:34“How many loaves to you have?” he asked.

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

15:35Then Jesus had the crowd sit down on the ground.15:36He took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks for them, broke them up, and handed the pieces to his disciples. Then the disciples passed them out to the crowd,15:37and they all ate till they were full. The leftovers filled seven large baskets,15:38even though the number of men was around four thousand, not counting the women and children.15:39Then he dismissed the crowd and got into the boat, and he went to the area of Magadan.