The Tradition of the Elders

15 Then(A) Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked,(B) “Why do Your disciples(C) break the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat!”[a](D)

He answered them, “And why do you break God’s commandment because of your tradition? For God said:[b]

Honor your father and your mother;(E)[c] and,
The one who speaks evil of father or mother
must be put to death.(F)[d]

But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift committed to the temple”— he does not have to honor his father.’[e] In this way, you have revoked God’s word[f] because of your tradition. Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said:

These people[g] honor Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me.
They worship Me in vain,
teaching as doctrines the commands of men.(G)[h]

Defilement Is from Within

10 Summoning the crowd, He told them, “Listen and understand: 11 It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles(H) a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”(I)

12 Then the disciples came up and told Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard this statement?”

13 He replied, “Every plant that My heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted.(J) 14 Leave them alone! They are blind guides.[i] And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit.”(K)

15 Then Peter replied to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”(L)

16 “Are even you still lacking in understanding?” He[j] asked. 17 “Don’t you realize[k] that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated?[l] 18 But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man.(M) 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies,(N) blasphemies.(O) 20 These are the things that defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”(P)

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  1. Matthew 15:2 Lit eat bread = eat a meal
  2. Matthew 15:4 Other mss read commanded, saying
  3. Matthew 15:4 Ex 20:12; Dt 5:16
  4. Matthew 15:4 Ex 21:17; Lv 20:9
  5. Matthew 15:6 Other mss read then he does not have to honor his father or mother
  6. Matthew 15:6 Other mss read commandment
  7. Matthew 15:8 Other mss add draw near to Me with their mouths, and
  8. Matthew 15:9 Is 29:13 LXX
  9. Matthew 15:14 Other mss add for the blind
  10. Matthew 15:16 Other mss read Jesus
  11. Matthew 15:17 Other mss add yet
  12. Matthew 15:17 Lit and goes out into the toilet

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