Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem. They asked him,
"Why don't your followers obey the unwritten laws which have been handed down to us? They 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 your own teachings?
God said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and 'Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.'
But you say a person can tell his father or mother, 'I have something I could use to help you, but I have given it to God already.'
You teach that person not to honor his father or his mother. You rejected what God said for the sake of your own rules.
You are hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he said 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.'"
After Jesus called the crowd to him, he said, "Listen and understand what I am saying.
It is not what people put into their mouths that makes them unclean. It is what comes out of their mouths that makes them unclean."
Then his followers came to him and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees are angry because of what you said?"
Jesus answered, "Every plant that my Father in heaven has not planted himself will be pulled up by the roots.
Stay away from the Pharisees; they are blind leaders. And if a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a ditch."
Peter said, "Explain the example to us."
Jesus said, "Do you still not understand?
Surely you know that all the food that enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then goes out of the body.
But what people say with their mouths comes from the way they think; these are the things that make people unclean.
Out of the mind come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual sins, stealing, lying, and speaking evil of others.
These things make people unclean; eating with unwashed hands does not make them unclean."
Jesus left that place and went to the area of Tyre and Sidon.
A Canaanite woman from that area came to Jesus and cried out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter has a demon, and she is suffering very much."
But Jesus did not answer the woman. So his followers came to Jesus and begged him, "Tell the woman to go away. She is following us and shouting."
Jesus answered, "God sent me only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel."
Then the woman came to Jesus again and bowed before him and said, "Lord, help me!"
Jesus answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and give it to the dogs."
The woman said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! I will do what you asked." And at that moment the woman's daughter was healed.
After leaving there, Jesus went along the shore of Lake Galilee. He went up on a hill and sat there.
Great crowds came to Jesus, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, those who could not speak, and many others. They put them at Jesus' feet, and he healed them.
The crowd was amazed when they saw that people who could not speak before were now able to speak. The crippled were made strong. The lame could walk, and the blind could see. And they praised the God of Israel for this.
Jesus called his followers to him and said, "I feel sorry for these people, because they have already been with me three days, and they have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry. They might faint while going home."
His followers asked him, "How can we get enough bread to feed all these people? We are far away from any town."
Jesus asked, "How many loaves of bread do you have?" They answered, "Seven, and a few small fish."
Jesus told the people to sit on the ground.
He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks to God. Then he divided the food and gave it to his followers, and they gave it to the people.
All the people ate and were satisfied. Then his followers filled seven baskets with the leftover pieces of food.
There were about four thousand men there who ate, besides women and children.
After sending the people home, Jesus got into the boat and went to the area of Magadan.
When some Pharisees and some teachers of the law came from Jerusalem, they gathered around Jesus.
They saw that some of Jesus' followers ate food with hands that were not clean, that is, they hadn't washed them.
(The Pharisees and all the Jews never eat before washing their hands in a special way according to their unwritten laws.
And when they buy something in the market, they never eat it until they wash themselves in a special way. They also follow many other unwritten laws, such as the washing of cups, pitchers, and pots.)
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law said to Jesus, "Why don't your followers obey the unwritten laws which have been handed down to us? Why do your followers eat their food with hands that are not clean?"
Jesus answered, "Isaiah was right when he spoke about you hypocrites. He wrote, '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.'
You have stopped following the commands of God, and you follow only human teachings."
Then Jesus said to them, "You cleverly ignore the commands of God so you can follow your own teachings.
Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and 'Anyone who says cruel things to his father or mother must be put to death.'
But you say a person can tell his father or mother, 'I have something I could use to help you, but it is Corban -- a gift to God.'
You no longer let that person use that money for his father or his mother.
By your own rules, which you teach people, you are rejecting what God said. And you do many things like that."
After Jesus called the crowd to him again, he said, "Every person should listen to me and understand what I am saying.
There is nothing people put into their bodies that makes them unclean. People are made unclean by the things that come out of them."
When Jesus left the people and went into the house, his followers asked him about this story.
Jesus said, "Do you still not understand? Surely you know that nothing that enters someone from the outside can make that person unclean.
It does not go into the mind, but into the stomach. Then it goes out of the body." (When Jesus said this, he meant that no longer was any food unclean for people to eat.)
And Jesus said, "The things that come out of people are the things that make them unclean.
All these evil things begin inside people, in the mind: evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery,
greed, evil actions, lying, doing sinful things, jealousy, speaking evil of others, pride, and foolish living.
All these evil things come from inside and make people unclean."
Jesus left that place and went to the area around Tyre. When he went into a house, he did not want anyone to know he was there, but he could not stay hidden.
A woman whose daughter had an evil spirit in her heard that he was there. So she quickly came to Jesus and fell at his feet.
She was Greek, born in Phoenicia, in Syria. She begged Jesus to force the demon out of her daughter.
Jesus told the woman, "It is not right to take the children's bread and give it to the dogs. First let the children eat all they want."
But she answered, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table can eat the children's crumbs."
Then Jesus said, "Because of your answer, you may go. The demon has left your daughter."
The woman went home and found her daughter lying in bed; the demon was gone.
Then Jesus left the area around Tyre and went through Sidon to Lake Galilee, to the area of the Ten Towns.
While he was there, some people brought a man to him who was deaf and could not talk plainly. The people begged Jesus to put his hand on the man to heal him.
Jesus led the man away from the crowd, by himself. He put his fingers in the man's ears and then spit and touched the man's tongue.
Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to the man, "Ephphatha!" (This means, "Be opened.")
Instantly the man was able to hear and to use his tongue so that he spoke clearly.
Jesus commanded the people not to tell anyone about what happened. But the more he commanded them, the more they told about it.
They were completely amazed and said, "Jesus does everything well. He makes the deaf hear! And those who can't talk he makes able to speak."