Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.
Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.' "
After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him1 about this parable.
"Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'?
For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods2 "clean.")3
He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.'
For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,
greed,4 malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.
All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' "
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.5 He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.
In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit6 came and fell at his feet.
The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
"First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."
"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter."
She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre7 and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee8 and into the region of the Decapolis.9
There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk,10 and they begged him to place his hand on11 the man.
After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit12 and touched the man's tongue.
He looked up to heaven13 and with a deep sigh14 said to him, ""Ephphatha!"" (which means, "Be opened!").
At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.15
Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone.16 But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it.
People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."