Matthew 15:1-20

That Which Defiles

1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,
2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b]
5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’
6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’[c]
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.
11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.
14 Leave them; they are blind guides.[d] If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them.
17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?
18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.
19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Cross References 15

  • 1. Luke 11:38
  • 2. Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Ephesians 6:2
  • 3. Exodus 21:17; Leviticus 20:9
  • 4. Colossians 2:20-22
  • 5. Isaiah 29:13; Malachi 2:2
  • 6. S Acts 10:14,15
  • 7. ver 18
  • 8. Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 61:3; John 15:2
  • 9. Matthew 23:16,24; Romans 2:19
  • 10. Luke 6:39
  • 11. Matthew 13:36
  • 12. Matthew 16:9
  • 13. Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45; James 3:6
  • 14. Galatians 5:19-21
  • 15. Romans 14:14

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Exodus 20:12; Deut. 5:16
  • [b]. Exodus 21:17; Lev. 20:9
  • [c]. Isaiah 29:13
  • [d]. Some manuscripts "blind guides of the blind"
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