Matthew 15 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Teaching of the Ancestors
15 About this time some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses came from Jerusalem. They asked Jesus, 2 “Why don’t your disciples obey what our ancestors taught us to do? They don’t even wash their hands[a] before they eat.”
3 Jesus answered:
Why do you disobey God and follow your own teaching? 4 Didn’t God command you to respect your father and mother? Didn’t he tell you to put to death all who curse their parents? 5 But you let people get by without helping their parents when they should. You let them say that what they have has been offered to God.[b] 6 Is this any way to show respect to your parents? You ignore God’s commands in order to follow your own teaching. 7 And you are nothing but show-offs! Isaiah the prophet was right when he wrote that God had said,
8 “All of you praise me
What Really Makes People Unclean
10 Jesus called the crowd together and said, “Pay attention and try to understand what I mean. 11 The food that you put into your mouth doesn’t make you unclean and unfit to worship God. The bad words that come out of your mouth are what make you unclean.”
12 Then his disciples came over to him and asked, “Do you know that you insulted the Pharisees by what you said?”
13 Jesus answered, “Every plant that my Father in heaven did not plant will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Stay away from those Pharisees! They are like blind people leading other blind people, and all of them will fall into a ditch.”
15 Peter replied, “What did you mean when you talked about the things that make people unclean?”
16 Jesus then said:
Don’t any of you know what I am talking about by now? 17 Don’t you know that the food you put into your mouth goes into your stomach and then out of your body? 18 But the words that come out of your mouth come from your heart. And they are what make you unfit to worship God. 19 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, vulgar deeds, stealing, telling lies, and insulting others. 20 These are what make you unclean. Eating without washing your hands will not make you unfit to worship God.
A Woman’s Faith
21 Jesus left and went to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Suddenly a Canaanite woman[c] from there came out shouting, “Lord and Son of David,[d] have pity on me! My daughter is full of demons.” 23 Jesus did not say a word. But the woman kept following along and shouting, so his disciples came up and asked him to send her away.
24 Jesus said, “I was sent only to the people of Israel! They are like a flock of lost sheep.”
25 The woman came closer. Then she knelt down and begged, “Please help me, Lord!”
26 Jesus replied, “It isn’t right to take food away from children and feed it to dogs.”[e]
27 “Lord, that’s true,” the woman said, “but even dogs get the crumbs that fall from their owner’s table.”
28 Jesus answered, “Dear woman, you really do have a lot of faith, and you will be given what you want.” At that moment her daughter was healed.
Jesus Heals Many People
29 From there, Jesus went along Lake Galilee. Then he climbed a hill and sat down. 30 Large crowds came and brought many people who were crippled or blind or lame or unable to talk. They placed them, and many others, in front of Jesus, and he healed them all. 31 Everyone was amazed at what they saw and heard. People who had never spoken could now speak. The lame were healed, the crippled could walk, and the blind were able to see. Everyone was praising the God of Israel.
Jesus Feeds Four Thousand
32 Jesus called his disciples together and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me for three days, and they don’t have anything to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry. They might faint on their way home.”
33 His disciples said, “This place is like a desert. Where can we find enough food to feed such a crowd?”
34 Jesus asked them how much food they had. They replied, “Seven small loaves of bread[f] and a few little fish.”
35 After Jesus had told the people to sit down, 36 he took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks. He then broke them and handed them to his disciples, who passed them around to the crowds.
37 Everyone ate all they wanted, and the leftovers filled seven large baskets.
38 There were four thousand men who ate, not counting the women and children.
39 After Jesus had sent the crowds away, he got into a boat and sailed across the lake. He came to shore near the town of Magadan.[g]
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