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)

A Gentile Mother’s Faith

21 When Jesus left there,(Q) He withdrew to the area of Tyre and Sidon.(R) 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out,[m] “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly tormented by a demon.”(S)

23 Yet He did not say a word to her. So His disciples(T) approached Him and urged Him, “Send her away because she cries out after us.”[n]

24 He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”(U)

25 But she came, knelt before Him, and said, “Lord, help me!”

26 He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to their dogs.”(V)

27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table!”

28 Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment[o] her daughter was cured.(W)

Healing Many People

29 Moving on from there,(X) Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee.(Y) He went up on a mountain and sat there, 30 and large crowds came to Him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, those unable to speak, and many others. They put them at His feet, and He healed them. 31 So the crowd was amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the deformed restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing.(Z) And they gave glory to the God of Israel.

Feeding 4,000

32 Now Jesus summoned His disciples and said,(AA) “I have compassion on the crowd, because they’ve already stayed with Me three days and have nothing to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry; otherwise they might collapse on the way.”

33 The disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in this desolate place(AB) to fill such a crowd?”

34 “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked them.

“Seven,” they said, “and a few small fish.”

35 After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 He took the seven loaves and the fish, and He gave thanks, broke them, and kept on giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.(AC) 37 They all ate and were filled. Then they collected the leftover pieces—seven large baskets full. 38 Now those who ate were 4,000 men, besides women and children. 39 After dismissing the crowds, He got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.[p](AD)

The Yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees

16 The Pharisees and Sadducees approached,(AE) and as a test, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven.(AF)

He answered them: “When evening comes you say, ‘It will be good weather because the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.’ You[q] know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can’t read the signs of the times.[r] An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of[s] Jonah.”(AG) Then He left them and went away.

The disciples reached the other shore,[t] and they had forgotten to take bread.

Then Jesus told them, “Watch out and beware of the yeast[u] of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”(AH)

And they discussed among themselves, “We didn’t bring any bread.”

Aware of this, Jesus said, “You of little faith!(AI) Why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the 5,000 and how many baskets you collected? 10 Or the seven loaves for the 4,000 and how many large baskets you collected?(AJ) 11 Why is it you don’t understand that when I told you, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees,’ it wasn’t about bread?”(AK) 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the yeast in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.(AL)

Peter’s Confession of the Messiah

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi,[v](AM) He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”[w]

14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”(AN)

15 “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”(AO)

17 And Jesus responded, “Simon son of Jonah,[x](AP) you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven.(AQ) 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter,[y] and on this rock[z] I will build My church,(AR) and the forces[aa] of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,(AS) and whatever you bind on earth is already bound[ab] in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed[ac] in heaven.”

20 And He gave the disciples orders to tell no one that He was[ad] the Messiah.(AT)

His Death and Resurrection Predicted

21 From(AU) then on Jesus began to point out to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.(AV) 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, “Oh no,[ae] Lord! This will never happen to You!”

23 But He turned and told Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me because you’re not thinking about God’s concerns,[af] but man’s.”(AW)

Take Up Your Cross

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.(AX) 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it.(AY) 26 What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?(AZ) 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father,(BA) and then He will reward each according to what he has done. 28 I assure you: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”(BB)


  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
  13. Matthew 15:22 Other mss read and cried out to Him
  14. Matthew 15:23 Lit she is yelling behind us or after us
  15. Matthew 15:28 Lit hour
  16. Matthew 15:39 Other mss read Magdala
  17. Matthew 16:3 Other mss read Hypocrites! You
  18. Matthew 16:3 Other mss omit When (v. 2) through end of v. 3
  19. Matthew 16:4 Other mss add the prophet
  20. Matthew 16:5 Lit disciples went to the other side
  21. Matthew 16:6 Or leaven
  22. Matthew 16:13 A town north of Galilee at the base of Mount Hermon
  23. Matthew 16:13 Other mss read that I, the Son of Man, am
  24. Matthew 16:17 Or son of John
  25. Matthew 16:18 Peter (Gk Petros) = a specific stone or rock
  26. Matthew 16:18 Rock (Gk petra) = a rocky crag or bedrock
  27. Matthew 16:18 Lit gates
  28. Matthew 16:19 Or earth will be bound
  29. Matthew 16:19 Or earth will be loosed
  30. Matthew 16:20 Other mss add Jesus
  31. Matthew 16:22 Lit Mercy to You = May God have mercy on You
  32. Matthew 16:23 Lit about the things of God