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Chapter 15

1Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, and said to him,

2“Why do your disciples break the rules handed down by our ancestors? For they eat their bread without first washing their hands.”

3But he answered,

“Why do you too break God’s command for the sake of what has been handed down to you? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘He who abuses his father or mother must be put to death.’ 5But you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother, “Anything of mine that might have been of use to you is given to God,” 6does not have to provide for his father.’ So you have nullified what God has said, for the sake of what has been handed down to you. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied finely about you when he said,

8“ ‘This people honor me with their lips,

Yet their hearts are far away from me.

9But their worship of me is all in vain,

For the lessons they teach are but human precepts.’ ”

10And he called the people to him and said to them,

11“Listen to this, and grasp it! It is not what goes into a man’s mouth that pollutes him; it is what comes out of his mouth that pollutes a man.”

12Then his disciples came up to him and said to him,

“Do you know that the Pharisees were shocked to hear you say that?”

13But he answered,

“Any plant that my heavenly Father did not plant must be uprooted! 14Leave them alone. They are blind guides! But if one blind man leads another, they will both fall into the ditch!”

15Peter said to him,

“Explain the figure for us.”

16He said,

“Have even you no understanding yet? 17Can you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and then is disposed of? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they pollute a man. 19For out of the heart come wicked designs, murder, adultery, immorality, stealing, false witness, impious speech. 20It is these things that pollute a man, but not eating with unwashed hands!”

21And Jesus left that place and retired to the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon. 22And a Canaanite woman of that district came out and screamed,

“Son of David, take pity on me, sir! My daughter is dreadfully possessed by a demon!”

23But he would not answer her a word. And his disciples came up and urged him, saying,

“Send her away, for she keeps screaming after us.”

24But he answered,

“I am sent only to the lost sheep of Israel’s house.”

25And she came and fell down before him, and said,

“Help me, sir!”

26He said,

“It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs!”

27But she said,

“O yes, sir! For even dogs eat the scraps that fall from their masters’ table!”

28Then Jesus answered,

“You have great faith! You shall have what you want.”

And her daughter was cured from that time.

29Jesus left that place and went along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the hillside and sat down there. 30Then great crowds came to him bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, or dumb, and many others. And they laid them down at his feet, and he cured them, 31so that the people were astonished to see the dumb speak, the lame walk, and the blind see. And they praised the God of Israel.

32Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them,

“I pity these people for they have been staying with me three days now and they have nothing left to eat, and I do not mean to send them away hungry, for they may give out on the way.”

33The disciples said to him,

“Where can we get bread enough in this solitude to feed such a crowd?”

34Jesus said to them,

“How many loaves have you?”

They said,

“Seven, and a few small fish.”

35Then he ordered the people to take their places on the ground, 36and he took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks and he broke them in pieces and gave them to his disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 37And they all ate and satisfied their hunger. And the pieces that they left that were picked up filled seven baskets. 38There were four thousand men who were fed, besides women and children. 39And he dismissed the people and got into the boat and went to the district of Magadan.

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