Matthew 15:1-18New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
What Makes People “Unclean”?
15 Some Pharisees and some teachers of the law came from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked, 2 “Why don’t your disciples obey what the elders teach? Your disciples don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3 Jesus replied, “And why don’t you obey God’s command? You would rather follow your own teachings! 4 God said, ‘Honor your father and mother.’ (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16) He also said, ‘Anyone who asks for bad things to happen to their father or mother must be put to death.’ (Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9) 5 But suppose people have something that might be used to help their parents. You allow them to say it is instead ‘a gift set apart for God.’ 6 So they do not need to honor their father or mother with their gift. You make the word of God useless in order to follow your own teachings. 7 You pretenders! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you. He said,
8 “ ‘These people honor me by what they say. But their hearts are far away from me. 9 Their worship doesn’t mean anything to me. They teach nothing but human rules.’ ” (Isaiah 29:13)
10 Jesus called the crowd to him. He said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not make them ‘unclean.’ It’s what comes out of their mouth that makes them ‘unclean.’ ”
12 Then the disciples came to him. They asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were angry when they heard this?”
13 Jesus replied, “They are plants that my Father in heaven has not planted. They will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave the Pharisees. They are blind guides. If one blind person leads another blind person, both of them will fall into a pit.”
15 Peter said, “Explain this to us.”
16 “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see? Everything that enters the mouth goes into the stomach. Then it goes out of the body. 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart. Those are the things that make someone ‘unclean.’
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