Matthew 15; Matthew 16; Matthew 17

1 Then Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusalem to Jesus and asked, 2 "Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat!" 3 He answered them, "And why do you break God's commandment because of your tradition? 4 For God said: Honor your father and your mother; and, The one who speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death. 5 But you say, 'Whoever tells his father or mother, "Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift [committed to the temple]"- 6 he does not have to honor his father.' In this way, you have revoked God's word because of your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said: 8 These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men. " 10 Summoning the crowd, He told them, "Listen and understand: 11 It's not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." 12 Then the disciples came up and told Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard this statement?" 13 He replied, "Every plant that My heavenly Father didn't plant will be uprooted. 14 Leave them alone! They are blind guides. And if the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit." 15 Then Peter replied to Him, "Explain this parable to us." 16 "Are even you still lacking in understanding?" He asked. 17 "Don't you realize that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immoralities, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. 20 These are the things that defile a man, but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a man." 21 When Jesus left there, He withdrew to the area of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly tormented by a demon." 23 Yet He did not say a word to her. So His disciples approached Him and urged Him, "Send her away because she cries out after us." 24 He replied, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 25 But she came, knelt before Him, and said, "Lord, help me!" 26 He answered, "It isn't right to take the children's bread and throw it to their dogs." 27 "Yes, Lord," she said, "yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table!" 28 Then Jesus replied to her, "Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want." And from that moment her daughter was cured. 29 Moving on from there, Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee. He went up on a mountain and sat there, 30 and large crowds came to Him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, those unable to speak, and many others. They put them at His feet, and He healed them. 31 So the crowd was amazed when they saw those unable to speak talking, the deformed restored, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they gave glory to the God of Israel. 32 Now Jesus summoned His disciples and said, "I have compassion on the crowd, because they've already stayed with Me three days and have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry; otherwise they might collapse on the way." 33 The disciples said to Him, "Where could we get enough bread in this desolate place to fill such a crowd?" 34 "How many loaves do you have?" Jesus asked them. "Seven," they said, "and a few small fish." 35 After commanding the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 He took the seven loaves and the fish, and He gave thanks, broke them, and kept on giving them to the disciples, and the disciples [gave them] to the crowds. 37 They all ate and were filled. Then they collected the leftover pieces-seven large baskets full. 38 Now those who ate were 4,000 men, besides women and children. 39 After dismissing the crowds, He got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.
1 The Pharisees and Sadducees approached, and as a test, asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered them: "When evening comes you say, 'It will be good weather because the sky is red.' 3 And in the morning, 'Today will be stormy because the sky is red and threatening.' You know how to read the appearance of the sky, but you can't read the signs of the times. 4 An evil and adulterous generation wants a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah." Then He left them and went away. 5 The disciples reached the other shore, and they had forgotten to take bread. 6 Then Jesus told them, "Watch out and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 7 And they discussed among themselves, "We didn't bring any bread." 8 Aware of this, Jesus said, "You of little faith! Why are you discussing among yourselves that you do not have bread? 9 Don't you understand yet? Don't you remember the five loaves for the 5,000 and how many baskets you collected? 10 Or the seven loaves for the 4,000 and how many large baskets you collected? 11 Why is it you don't understand that when I told you, 'Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees,' it wasn't about bread?" 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the yeast in bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. 13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 15 "But you," He asked them, "who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!" 17 And Jesus responded, "Simon son of Jonah, you are blessed because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven." 20 And He gave the disciples orders to tell no one that He was the Messiah. 21 From then on Jesus began to point out to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, "Oh no, Lord! This will never happen to You!" 23 But He turned and told Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me because you're not thinking about God's concerns, but man's." 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. 26 What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done. 28 I assure you: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."
1 After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 He was transformed in front of them, and His face shone like the sun. Even His clothes became as white as the light. 3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it's good for us to be here! If You want, I will make three tabernacles here: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him. Listen to Him! 6 When the disciples heard it, they fell facedown and were terrified. 7 Then Jesus came up, touched them, and said, "Get up; don't be afraid." 8 When they looked up they saw no one except Him-Jesus alone. 9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Don't tell anyone about the vision until the Son of Man is raised from the dead." 10 So the disciples questioned Him, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" 11 "Elijah is coming and will restore everything," He replied. 12 "But I tell you: Elijah has already come, and they didn't recognize him. On the contrary, they did whatever they pleased to him. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." 13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them about John the Baptist. 14 When they reached the crowd, a man approached and knelt down before Him. 15 "Lord," he said, "have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers severely. He often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 I brought him to Your disciples, but they couldn't heal him." 17 Jesus replied, "You unbelieving and rebellious generation! How long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him here to Me." 18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and from that moment the boy was healed. 19 Then the disciples approached Jesus privately and said, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" 20 "Because of your little faith," He told them. "For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. [ 21 However, this kind does not come out except by prayer and fasting.]" 22 As they were meeting in Galilee, Jesus told them, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23 They will kill Him, and on the third day He will be raised up." And they were deeply distressed. 24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the double-drachma tax approached Peter and said, "Doesn't your Teacher pay the double-drachma tax?" 25 "Yes," he said. When he went into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, "What do you think, Simon? Who do earthly kings collect tariffs or taxes from? From their sons or from strangers?" 26 "From strangers," he said. "Then the sons are free," Jesus told him. 27 "But, so we won't offend them, go to the sea, cast in a fishhook, and catch the first fish that comes up. When you open its mouth you'll find a coin. Take it and give it to them for Me and you."
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