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Matthew 15English Standard Version (ESV)

Traditions and Commandments

15 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,”[a] he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word[b] of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

“‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

What Defiles a Person

10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it is 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 and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides.[c] And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?[d] 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.[e]

Jesus Heals Many

29 Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30 And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, 31 so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” 33 And the disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” 34 And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35 And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 38 Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And after sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 15:5 Or is an offering
  2. Matthew 15:6 Some manuscripts law
  3. Matthew 15:14 Some manuscripts add of the blind
  4. Matthew 15:17 Greek is expelled into the latrine
  5. Matthew 15:28 Greek from that hour
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Matthew 15New 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.

Matthew 15The Voice (VOICE)

15 Some Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem to ask Jesus a question.

Scribes and Pharisees: The law of Moses has always held that one must ritually wash his hands before eating. Why don’t Your disciples observe this tradition?

Jesus turned the Pharisees’ question back on them.

Jesus: Why do you violate God’s command because of your tradition? God said, “Honor your father and mother.[a] Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.”[b] 5-6 But you say that one need no longer honor his parents so long as he says to them, “What you might have gained from me, I now give to the glory of God.” Haven’t you let your tradition trump the word of God? You hypocrites! Isaiah must have had you in mind when he prophesied,

    People honor Me with their lips,
        but their hearts are nowhere near Me.
    Because they elevate mere human ritual to the status of law,
        their worship of Me is a meaningless sham.[c]

10 (to the multitude) Hear and understand this: 11 What you put into your mouth cannot make you clean or unclean; it is what comes out of your mouth that can make you unclean.

12 Later the disciples came to Him.

Disciples: Do You realize the Pharisees were shocked by what You said?

Jesus: 13 Every plant planted by someone other than My heavenly Father will be plucked up by the roots. 14 So let them be. They are blind guides. What happens when one blind person leads another? Both of them fall into a ditch.

Peter: 15 Explain that riddle to us.

Jesus: 16 Do you still not see? 17 Don’t you understand that whatever you take in through your mouth makes its way to your stomach and eventually out of the bowels of your body? 18 But the things that come out of your mouth—your curses, your fears, your denunciations—these come from your heart, and it is the stirrings of your heart that can make you unclean. 19 For your heart harbors evil thoughts—fantasies of murder, adultery, and whoring; fantasies of stealing, lying, and slandering. 20 These make you unclean—not eating with a hand you’ve not ritually purified with a splash of water and a prayer.

21 Jesus left that place and withdrew to Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman—a non-Jew—came to Him.

Canaanite Woman (wailing): Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is possessed by a demon. Have mercy, Lord!

23 Jesus said nothing. And the woman continued to wail. His disciples came to Him.

Disciples: Do something—she keeps crying after us!

Jesus: 24 I was sent here only to gather up the lost sheep of Israel.

25 The woman came up to Jesus and knelt before Him.

Canaanite Woman: Lord, help me!

Jesus: 26 It is not right to waste the children’s bread by feeding dogs.

Canaanite Woman: 27 But, Lord, even dogs eat the crumbs that fall by the table as their master is eating.

28 Jesus—whose ancestors included Ruth and Rahab—spoke with kindness and insight.

Jesus: Woman, you have great faith. And your request is done.

And her daughter was healed, right then and from then on.

29 Jesus left and went to the Sea of Galilee. He went up on a mountaintop and sat down. 30 Crowds thronged to Him there, bringing the lame, the maimed, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many other sick and broken people. They laid them at His feet, and He healed them. 31 The people saw the mute speaking, the lame walking, the maimed made whole, the crippled dancing, and the blind seeing; and the people were amazed, and they praised the God of Israel.

Jesus (to His disciples): 32 We must take pity on these people for they have touched My heart; they have been with Me for three days, and they don’t have any food. I don’t want to send them home this hungry—they might collapse on the way!

Disciples: 33 We’ll never find enough food for all these people, out here in the middle of nowhere!

Jesus: 34 How much bread do you have?

Disciples: Seven rounds of flatbread and a few small fish.

35 He told the crowd to sit down. 36 He took the bread and the fish, He gave thanks, and then He broke the bread and divided the fish. He gave the bread and fish to the disciples, the disciples distributed them to the people, 37 and everyone ate and was satisfied. When everyone had eaten, the disciples picked up seven baskets of crusts and broken pieces and crumbs.

38 There were 4,000 men there, not to mention all the women and children. 39 Then Jesus sent the crowd away. He got into the boat and went to Magadan.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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