Matthew 15-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Tradition and Commandment
15 Then some Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem came to Jesus and said, 2 “Why do Your disciples violate the [a]tradition (religious laws) handed down by the [Jewish] elders? For Your disciples do not [ceremonially] wash their hands before they eat.” 3 He replied to them, “Why also do you violate the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition [handed down by the elders]? 4 For God said [through Moses], ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of or insults or treats improperly father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone says to his father or mother, “Whatever [money or resource that] I have that would help you is [already dedicated and] given to God,” 6 he is not to honor his father or his mother [by helping them with their need].’ So by this you have invalidated the word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect] for the sake of your tradition [handed down by the elders]. 7 You hypocrites (play-actors, pretenders), rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said,
10 After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said, “Listen and understand this: 11 It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that defiles and dishonors him, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles and dishonors him.”
12 Then the disciples came and said to Jesus, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard you say this?” 13 He answered, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant will be torn up by the roots. 14 Leave them alone; they are blind guides [b][leading blind followers]. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
The Heart of Man
15 Peter asked Him, “Explain this parable [about what defiles a person] to us.” 16 And He said, “Are you still so dull [and unable to put things together]? 17 Do you not understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 But whatever [word] comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what defiles and dishonors the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts and plans, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, slanders (verbal abuse, irreverent speech, blaspheming). 20 These are the things which defile and dishonor the man; but eating with [ceremonially] unwashed hands does not defile the man.”
The Syrophoenician Woman
21 After leaving there, Jesus withdrew to the district of [c]Tyre and Sidon. 22 And a [d]Canaanite woman from that district came out and began to cry out [urgently], saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David (Messiah); my daughter is cruelly possessed by a demon.” 23 But He did not say a word in answer to her. And His disciples came and asked Him [repeatedly], “Send her away, because she keeps shouting out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was commissioned by God and sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and began to kneel down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 And He replied, “It is not good (appropriate, fair) to take the [e]children’s bread and throw it to the [f]pet dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord; but even the pet dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their [young] masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, your faith [your personal trust and confidence in My power] is great; it will be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that moment.
29 Jesus went on from there and passed along by [the eastern shore of] the Sea of Galilee. Then He went up on the hillside and was sitting there. 30 And great crowds came to Him, bringing with them the lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they put them down at His feet; and He healed them. 31 So the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they praised and glorified the God of Israel.
Four Thousand Fed
32 Then Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the crowd, because they have been with Me now three days and have nothing [left] to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, because they might faint [from exhaustion] on the way [home].” 33 The disciples said to Him, “Where are we to get enough bread in this isolated place to feed so large a crowd?” 34 And Jesus asked them, “How many loaves [of bread] do you have?” They replied, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35 He directed the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and when He had given thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples [gave them] to the people. 37 And they all ate and were satisfied, and they gathered up seven full baskets of the broken pieces that were left over. 38 [Among] those who ate were 4,000 men, not counting women and children.
39 Then Jesus sent the crowds away, got into the boat and went to the district of [g]Magadan.
Pharisees Test Jesus
16 Now the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus [to get something to use against Him], they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven [which would support His divine authority]. 2 But He replied to them, “[h]When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and has a threatening look.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but cannot interpret the signs of the times? 4 An evil and [morally] unfaithful generation craves a [miraculous] sign; but no sign will be given to it, except the sign of [the prophet] Jonah.” Then He left them and went away.
5 When the disciples reached the other side of the sea, they realized that they had forgotten to bring bread. 6 Jesus said to them, “Watch out and be on your guard against the [i]leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring bread.” 8 But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why are you discussing among yourselves that you have no bread? 9 Do you still not understand or remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you picked up? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many large baskets you picked up? 11 How is it that you fail to understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the [false] teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Peter’s Confession of Christ
13 Now when Jesus went into the [j]region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they answered, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah, or [just] one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the living God.” 17 Then Jesus answered him, “Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, favored by God] are you, Simon son of Jonah, because flesh and blood (mortal man) did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I say to you that you are [k]Peter, and on this [l]rock I will build My church; and the [m]gates of Hades (death) will not overpower it [by preventing the resurrection of the Christ]. 19 I will give you the keys (authority) of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth [n]will have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth [o]will have [already] been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He gave the disciples strict orders to tell no one that He was the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).
Jesus Foretells His Death
21 [p]From that time on Jesus began to show His disciples [clearly] that He must go to Jerusalem, and endure many things at the hands of the elders and the chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and be killed, and be raised [from death to life] on the third day. 22 Peter took Him aside [to speak to Him privately] and began to reprimand Him, saying, “May God forbid it! This will never happen to You.” 23 But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on things of God, but on things of man.”
Discipleship Is Costly
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me]. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake will find it [that is, life with Me for all eternity]. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory and majesty of His Father with His angels, and then He will repay each one in accordance with what he has done.
28 “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, there are some of [q]those standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
17 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John the brother of James, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And His appearance changed dramatically in their presence; and His face shone [with heavenly glory, clear and bright] like the sun, and His clothing became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. 4 Then Peter began to speak and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good and delightful and auspicious that we are here; if You wish, I will put up three [sacred] tents here—one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and [r]a voice from the cloud said, “[s]This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased and delighted! Listen to Him!” 6 When the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were terrified. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” 8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
9 And as they were going down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Do not tell anyone what you have seen until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 10 The disciples asked Him, “Then why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things; 12 but I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not recognize him, but did to him as they wished. The Son of Man is also going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
14 When they approached the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, kneeling before Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic (moonstruck) and suffers terribly; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to Your disciples, and they were not able to heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed at once.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and asked, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20 He answered, “Because of your little faith [your lack of trust and confidence in the power of God]; for I assure you and most solemnly say to you, [t]if you have [living] faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and [if it is God’s will] it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 [u][But this kind of demon does not go out except by prayer and fasting.]”
22 When they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed and handed over to men [who are His enemies]; 23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised [from death to life] on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved and distressed.
The Tribute Money
24 When they arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the [v]half-shekel [temple tax] went up to Peter and said, “Does not your teacher pay the half-shekel?” 25 Peter answered, “Yes.” And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly rulers collect duties or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?” 26 When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt [from taxation]. 27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take it and give it to them [to pay the temple tax] for you and Me.”
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