Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus.
They noticed that some of his disciples were eating their food with hands that were ritually unclean - that is, they had not washed them in the way the Pharisees said people should.
(For the Pharisees, as well as the rest of the Jews, follow the teaching they received from their ancestors: they do not eat unless they wash their hands in the proper way;
nor do they eat anything that comes from the market unless they wash it first. And they follow many other rules which they have received, such as the proper way to wash cups, pots, copper bowls, and beds. )
So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked Jesus, "Why is it that your disciples do not follow the teaching handed down by our ancestors, but instead eat with ritually unclean hands?"
Jesus answered them, "How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you! You are hypocrites, just as he wrote: 1 "These people, says God, honor me with their words, but their heart is really far away from me.
It is no use for them to worship me, because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!'
"You put aside God's command and obey human teachings."
And Jesus continued, "You have a clever way of rejecting God's law in order to uphold your own teaching.
For Moses commanded, "Respect your father and your mother,' and, "If you curse your father or your mother, you are to be put to death.' 2