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Matthew 15 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Obey God’s Law

15 Then some Pharisees and ·teachers of the law [scribes] came to Jesus from Jerusalem. They asked him, “Why don’t your ·followers [disciples] obey the ·unwritten laws which have been handed down to us [L traditions of the elders]? [L For] They don’t wash their hands before they eat [C a Jewish ritual for ceremonial purity].”

Jesus answered, “And why do you ·refuse to obey [break; violate] God’s command ·so that you can follow your own teachings [L for the sake of your traditions]? God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother [Ex. 20:12; Deut. 5:16],’ and ‘Anyone who ·says cruel things to [speaks evil of; curses] his father or mother must be put to death [Ex. 21:17; Lev. 20:9].’ But you say a person can tell his father or mother, ‘I have something I could use to help you, but I have ·given [dedicated; devoted] it to God already [C a practice known as Corban; see Mark 7:10–12].’ You teach that person ·not to [that he need not] honor his father or his mother. You ·rejected [invalidated; canceled; nullified] ·what God said [L the word of God] for the sake of your own ·rules [tradition]. You are hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he ·said [L prophesied] about you:

‘These people show honor to me with ·words [L their lips],
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me is ·worthless [futile; in vain].
    The things [doctrines] they teach are nothing but human ·rules [commandments; Is. 29:13].’”

10 After Jesus called the crowd to him, he said, “Listen and ·understand what I am saying [try to understand]. 11 It is not what ·people put into their mouths [L goes into the mouth] that ·makes them unclean [pollutes/defiles the person]. It is what comes out of their mouths that ·makes them unclean [pollutes/defiles the person].”

12 Then his ·followers [disciples] came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees are ·angry [offended; shocked] because of what you said?”

13 Jesus answered, “Every plant that my Father in heaven has not planted himself will be pulled up by the roots. 14 ·Stay away from the Pharisees [L Leave/Ignore them]; they are blind ·leaders [guides].[a] And if a blind person ·leads [guides] a blind person, both will fall into a ·ditch [pit; hole].”

15 Peter said, “Explain the ·example [parable] to us.”

16 Jesus said, “·Do you still not understand [L Are you still so dull/foolish]? 17 ·Surely you know [L Don’t you know…?] that all the food that enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then goes ·out of the body [L into the sewer/latrine].” 18 But ·what people say with their mouths [L the things that come out of the mouth] comes from the ·way they think [L the heart]; these are the things that ·make people unclean [pollute/defiled a person]. 19 [L For] Out of the ·mind [heart] come evil ·thoughts [intentions; ideas], murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, ·lying [false witness/testimony], and ·speaking evil of others [slander; blasphemy]. 20 These things make people ·unclean [polluted; defiled]; eating with unwashed hands does not make them ·unclean [polluted; defiled].”

Jesus Helps a Gentile Woman

21 Jesus left that place and went to the ·area [district; region] of Tyre and Sidon [C cities on the coast north of Israel]. 22 A ·Canaanite [C a non-Jewish (Gentile) resident of Palestine (Canaan was the ancient name for Palestine)] woman from that area came to Jesus and cried out, “Lord, Son of David [C a title for the Messiah], have mercy on me! My daughter ·has a demon, and she is suffering very much [is tormented; L is severely demon-possessed].”

23 But Jesus did not ·answer the woman [L answer her a word]. So his ·followers [disciples] came to Jesus and ·begged [asked; urged] him, “Tell the woman to go away. [L Because] She is following us and ·shouting [crying out].”

24 Jesus answered, “·God sent me [L I was sent] only to the lost sheep, the ·people [L house] of Israel.”

25 Then the woman came to Jesus again and bowed before him and said, “Lord, help me!”

26 Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and ·give [throw] it to the dogs.” [C “Children” refers to Israel; “dogs” to the Gentiles.]

27 The woman said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

28 Then Jesus answered, “[L O] Woman, you have great faith! ·I will do what you asked [L Let it be done for you as you wish].” And ·at that moment [L from that hour] the woman’s daughter was healed.

Jesus Heals Many People

29 After leaving there, Jesus went along ·the shore of Lake Galilee [T the Sea of Galilee]. He went up on ·a hill [or the mountain] and sat there.

30 Great crowds came to Jesus, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, ·those who could not speak [the mute/deaf; C the word can refer to speech or hearing; v. 31 suggests it here means “mute”], and many others. They ·put [laid] them at Jesus’ feet, and he healed them. 31 The crowd was ·amazed [astonished; marveled] when they saw that ·people who could not speak before [the mute/deaf] were now able to speak. The crippled were ·made strong [well; whole]. The lame could walk, and the blind could see. And they ·praised [glorified] the God of Israel for this.

More than Four Thousand Fed

32 Jesus called his ·followers [disciples] to him and said, “I ·feel sorry [have compassion] for these people, because they have already been with me three days, and they have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry. They might ·faint [collapse] while going home.”

33 His ·followers [disciples] asked him, “·How [L From where] can we get enough bread in this ·remote place [desolate place; desert] to feed ·all these people [L so great a crowd]?”

34 Jesus asked, “How many loaves of bread do you have?”

They answered, “Seven, and a few small fish.”

35 Jesus told the people to ·sit [recline] on the ground. 36 He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks to God. Then he ·divided the food [L broke them] and gave it to his ·followers [disciples], and they gave it to the people. 37 All the people ate and were satisfied. Then his ·followers [disciples] filled seven ·baskets [large baskets; C a different word than in the feeding of the five thousand; 14:20] with the leftover pieces of food. 38 There were about four thousand men there who ate, besides women and children. 39 After ·sending the people home [dismissing the crowds], Jesus got into the boat and went to the ·area [region] of Magadan [C an unknown place, probably on the western shore of Lake Galilee; perhaps Magdala, the hometown of Mary Magdalene].


  1. Matthew 15:14 leaders Some Greek copies continue, “of blind people.”
Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.


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