1 After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, 2 "Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?" 3 But Jesus put it right back on them. "Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God's commands? 4 God clearly says, 'Respect your father and mother,' and, 'Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.' 5 But you weasel around that by saying, 'Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I've given to God.' 6 That can hardly be called respecting a parent. You cancel God's command by your rules. 7 Frauds! Isaiah's prophecy of you hit the bull's-eye: 8 These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn't in it. 9 They act like they're worshiping me, but they don't mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy." 10 He then called the crowd together and said, "Listen, and take this to heart. 11 It's not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up." 12 Later his disciples came and told him, "Did you know how upset the Pharisees were when they heard what you said?" 13 Jesus shrugged it off. "Every tree that wasn't planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots. 14 Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch." 15 Peter said, "I don't get it. Put it in plain language." 16 Jesus replied, "You too? Are you being willfully stupid? 17 Don't you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? 18 But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. 19 It's from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. 20 That's what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands - that's neither here nor there." Healing the People 21 From there Jesus took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. 22 They had hardly arrived when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, "Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit." 23 Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, "Now she's bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She's driving us crazy." 24 Jesus refused, telling them, "I've got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel." 25 Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees, and begged. "Master, help me." 26 He said, "It's not right to take bread out of children's mouths and throw it to dogs." 27 She was quick: "You're right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master's table." 28 Jesus gave in. "Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!" Right then her daughter became well. 29 After Jesus returned, he walked along Lake Galilee and then climbed a mountain and took his place, ready to receive visitors. 30 They came, tons of them, bringing along the paraplegic, the blind, the maimed, the mute - all sorts of people in need - and more or less threw them down at Jesus' feet to see what he would do with them. He healed them. 31 When the people saw the mutes speaking, the maimed healthy, the paraplegics walking around, the blind looking around, they were astonished and let everyone know that God was blazingly alive among them. 32 But Jesus wasn't finished with them. He called his disciples and said, "I hurt for these people. For three days now they've been with me, and now they have nothing to eat. I can't send them away without a meal - they'd probably collapse on the road." 33 His disciples said, "But where in this deserted place are you going to dig up enough food for a meal?" 34 Jesus asked, "How much bread do you have?" 35 At that, Jesus directed the people to sit down. 36 He took the seven loaves and the fish. After giving thanks, he divided it up and gave it to the people. 37 Everyone ate. They had all they wanted. It took seven large baskets to collect the leftovers. 38 Over four thousand people ate their fill at that meal. 39 After Jesus sent them away, he climbed in the boat and crossed over to the Magadan hills.
1 The Pharisees, along with some religion scholars who had come from Jerusalem, gathered around him. 2 They noticed that some of his disciples weren't being careful with ritual washings before meals. 3 The Pharisees - Jews in general, in fact - would never eat a meal without going through the motions of a ritual hand-washing, 4 with an especially vigorous scrubbing if they had just come from the market (to say nothing of the scourings they'd give jugs and pots and pans). 5 The Pharisees and religion scholars asked, "Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?" 6 Jesus answered, "Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull's-eye in fact: These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn't in it. 7 They act like they are worshiping me, but they don't mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy, 8 Ditching God's command and taking up the latest fads." 9 He went on, "Well, good for you. You get rid of God's command so you won't be inconvenienced in following the religious fashions! 10 Moses said, 'Respect your father and mother,' and, 'Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.' 11 But you weasel out of that by saying that it's perfectly acceptable to say to father or mother, 'Gift! What I owed you I've given as a gift to God,' 12 thus relieving yourselves of obligation to father or mother. 13 You scratch out God's Word and scrawl a whim in its place. You do a lot of things like this." 14 Jesus called the crowd together again and said, "Listen now, all of you - take this to heart. 15 It's not what you swallow that pollutes your life; it's what you vomit - that's the real pollution." 17 When he was back home after being with the crowd, his disciples said, "We don't get it. Put it in plain language." 18 Jesus said, "Are you being willfully stupid? Don't you see that what you swallow can't contaminate you? 19 It doesn't enter your heart but your stomach, works its way through the intestines, and is finally flushed." (That took care of dietary quibbling; Jesus was saying that all foods are fit to eat.) 20 He went on: "It's what comes out of a person that pollutes: 21 obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness - 23 all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution." 24 From there Jesus set out for the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house there where he didn't think he would be found, but he couldn't escape notice. 25 He was barely inside when a woman who had a disturbed daughter heard where he was. She came and knelt at his feet, 26 begging for help. The woman was Greek, Syro-Phoenician by birth. She asked him to cure her daughter. 27 He said, "Stand in line and take your turn. The children get fed first. If there's any left over, the dogs get it." 28 She said, "Of course, Master. But don't dogs under the table get scraps dropped by the children?" 29 Jesus was impressed. "You're right! On your way! Your daughter is no longer disturbed. The demonic affliction is gone." 30 She went home and found her daughter relaxed on the bed, the torment gone for good. 31 Then he left the region of Tyre, went through Sidon back to Galilee Lake and over to the district of the Ten Towns. 32 Some people brought a man who could neither hear nor speak and asked Jesus to lay a healing hand on him. 33 He took the man off by himself, put his fingers in the man's ears and some spit on the man's tongue. 34 Then Jesus looked up in prayer, groaned mightily, and commanded, "Ephphatha! - Open up!" 35 And it happened. The man's hearing was clear and his speech plain - just like that. 36 Jesus urged them to keep it quiet, but they talked it up all the more, 37 beside themselves with excitement. "He's done it all and done it well. He gives hearing to the deaf, speech to the speechless."