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Obey God’s Law Not Men’s

15 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem. They asked him, “Why do your followers not obey the rules given to us by the great people who lived before us? Your followers don’t wash their hands before they eat!”

Jesus answered, “And why do you refuse to obey God’s command so that you can follow those rules you have? God said, ‘Honor your father and mother.’[a] And God also said, ‘Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.’[b] But you say that a person can tell his father or mother, ‘I have something I could use to help you. But I will not use it for you. I will give it to God.’ You teach that person not to honor his father. You teach that it is not important to do what God said. You think that it is more important to follow the rules you have. You are hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he spoke about you:

‘These people show honor to me with words.
    But their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me is worthless.
    The things they teach are nothing
    but human rules they have memorized.’” Isaiah 29:13

10 Jesus called the crowd to him. He said, “Listen and understand what I am saying. 11 It is not what a person puts into his mouth that makes him unclean. It is what comes out of his mouth that makes him unclean.”

12 Then his followers came to Jesus and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees are angry 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. They are blind leaders.[c] And if a blind man leads another blind man, then both men will fall into a ditch.”

15 Peter said, “Explain the story to us.”

16 Jesus said, “You still have trouble understanding? 17 Surely you know that all the food that enters the mouth goes into the stomach. Then that food goes out of the body. 18 But what a person says with his mouth comes from the way he thinks. And these are the things that make him unclean. 19 Out of the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, stealing, lying, and saying bad things against other people. 20 These things make a person unclean. But eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean.”

Jesus Helps a Non-Jewish Woman

21 Jesus left that place and went to the area of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that area came to Jesus. The woman cried out, “Lord, Son of David, please help me! My daughter has a demon, and she is suffering very much.”

23 But Jesus did not answer the woman. So the followers came to Jesus and begged him, “Tell the woman to go away. She is following us and shouting.”

24 Jesus answered, “God sent me only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.”

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

26 Jesus answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs.”

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

28 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked me to do.” And at that moment the woman’s daughter was healed.

Jesus Heals Many People

29 Then Jesus left that place and went to the shore of Lake Galilee. He went up on a hill and sat there.

30 Great crowds came to Jesus. They brought their sick with them: the lame, the blind, the crippled, the dumb and many others. They put them at Jesus’ feet, and he healed them. 31 The crowd was amazed when they saw that people who could not speak were able to speak again. The crippled were made strong again. Those who could not walk were able to walk again. The blind were able to see again. And they praised the God of Israel for this.

More Than 4,000 People Fed

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

33 His followers asked him, “Where can we get enough bread to feed all these people? We are far away from any town.”

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

They answered, “We have seven loaves and a few small fish.”

35 Jesus told the people to sit on the ground. 36 He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks to God for the food. Then Jesus divided the food and gave it to his followers. They gave the food to the people. 37 All the people ate and were satisfied. After this, the followers filled seven baskets with the pieces of food that were not eaten. 38 There were about 4,000 men there who ate, besides women and children. 39 After they ate, Jesus told the people to go home. He got into the boat and went to the area of Magadan.

The Leaders Ask for a Miracle

16 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus. They wanted to trap him. So they asked him to show them a miracle to prove that he was from God.

Jesus answered,[d] “When you see the sunset, you know what the weather will be. If the sky is red, then you say we will have good weather. And in the morning if the sky is dark and red, then you say that it will be a rainy day. You see these signs in the sky, and you know what they mean. In the same way, you see the things that are happening now. But you don’t know their meaning. Evil and sinful people ask for a miracle as a sign. But they will have no sign—only the sign of Jonah.”[e] Then Jesus left them and went away.

Guard Against Wrong Teachings

Jesus and his followers went across the lake. But the followers forgot to bring bread. Jesus said to them, “Be careful! Guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

The followers discussed the meaning of this. They said, “Did Jesus say this because we forgot to bring bread?”

Jesus knew that they were talking about this. So he asked them, “Why are you talking about not having bread? Your faith is small. You still don’t understand? Remember the five loaves of bread that fed the 5,000 people? And remember that you filled many baskets with bread after the people finished eating? 10 And remember the seven loaves of bread that fed the 4,000 people? Remember that you filled many baskets then also? 11 So I was not talking to you about bread. Why don’t you understand that? I am telling you to be careful and guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” 12 Then the followers understood what Jesus meant. He was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread. He was telling them to guard against the teaching of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

Peter Says Jesus Is the Christ

13 Jesus went to the area of Caesarea Philippi. He said to his followers, “I am the Son of Man. Who do the people say I am?”

14 They answered, “Some people say you are John the Baptist. Others say you are Elijah. And others say that you are Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 Then Jesus asked them, “And who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered, “You are blessed, Simon son of Jonah. No person taught you that. My Father in heaven showed you who I am. 18 So I tell you, you are Peter.[f] And I will build my church on this rock. The power of death will not be able to defeat my church. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. The things you don’t allow on earth will be the things that God does not allow. The things you allow on earth will be the things that God allows.” 20 Then Jesus warned his followers not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

Jesus Says That He Must Die

21 From that time on Jesus began telling his followers that he must go to Jerusalem. He explained that the Jewish elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of the law would make him suffer many things. And he told them that he must be killed. Then, on the third day, he would be raised from death.

22 Peter took Jesus aside and began to criticize him. Peter said, “God save you from those things, Lord! Those things will never happen to you!”

23 Then Jesus said to Peter, “Go away from me, Satan![g] You are not helping me! You don’t care about the things of God. You care only about things that men think are important.”

24 Then Jesus said to his followers, “If anyone wants to follow me, he must say ‘no’ to the things he wants. He must be willing even to die on a cross, and he must follow me. 25 Whoever wants to save his life will give up true life. And whoever gives up his life for me will have true life. 26 It is worth nothing for a man to have the whole world if he loses his soul. He could never pay enough to buy back his soul. 27 The Son of Man will come again with his Father’s glory and with his angels. At that time, he will reward everyone for what he has done. 28 I tell you the truth. There are some people standing here who, before they die, will see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.”

Footnotes

  1. 15:4 ‘Honor . . . mother.’ Quotation from Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16.
  2. 15:4 ‘Anyone . . . death.’ Quotation from Exodus 21:17.
  3. 15:14 leaders Some Greek copies continue, “of blind people.”
  4. 16:2 answered Some Greek copies do not have the rest of verse 2 and verse 3.
  5. 16:4 sign of Jonah Jonah’s three days in the big fish are like Jesus’ three days in the tomb. The story about Jonah is in the book of Jonah.
  6. 16:18 Peter The Greek name “Peter,” like the Aramaic name “Cephas,” means “rock.”
  7. 16:23 Satan Name for the devil, meaning “the enemy.” Jesus means that Peter was talking like Satan.

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