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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 15

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1 THEN Jesus was approached by a group of Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem, with the question: 2‘Why do your disciples break the ancient tradition? They do not wash their hands before eating.’ 3He answered them: ‘And what about you? Why do you break God's commandment in the interest of your tradition? 4For God said, “Honour your father and mother,” and “Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death.” 5But you say, “Whoever says to his father or mother, ‘Anything I have which might have been used for your benefit is set apart for God,’ 6must not honour his father or his mother.” You have made God's law null and void out of regard for your tradition. 7What hypocrites! How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you: 8“This people pays me lip-service, but their heart is far from me; 9they worship me in vain, for they teach as doctrines the commandments of men.”’

10He called the crowd and said to them, ‘Listen and understand! 11No one is defiled by what goes into his mouth; only by what comes out of it.’

12Then the disciples came to him and said, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees have taken great offence at what you have been saying?’ 13He answered: ‘Any plant that is not of my heavenly Father's planting will be rooted up. 14Leave them alone; they are blind guides a 15:14 blind guides: some witnesses add of blind men. , and if one blind man guides another they will both fall into the ditch.’

15Then Peter said, ‘Tell us what that parable means.’ 16Jesus said, ‘Are you still as dull as the rest? 17Do you not see that whatever goes in by the mouth passes into the stomach and so is discharged into the drain? 18But what comes out of the mouth has its origins in the heart; and that is what defiles a person. 19Wicked thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, perjury, slander—these all proceed from the heart; 20and these are the things that defile a person; but to eat without first washing his hands, that cannot defile him.’

21 JESUS then withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22And a Canaanite woman from those parts came to meet him crying, ‘Son of David! Have pity on me; my daughter is tormented by a devil.’ 23But he said not a word in reply. His disciples came and urged him: ‘Send her away! See how she comes shouting after us.’ 24Jesus replied, ‘I was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and to them alone.’ 25But the woman came and fell at his feet and cried, ‘Help me, sir.’ 26Jesus replied, ‘It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.’ 27‘True, sir,’ she answered, ‘and yet the dogs eat the scraps that fall from their master's table.’ 28Hearing this Jesus replied, ‘What faith you have! Let it be as you wish!’ And from that moment her daughter was restored to health.

29After leaving that region Jesus took the road by the sea of Galilee, where he climbed a hill and sat down. 30Crowds flocked to him, bringing with them the lame, blind, dumb, and crippled, and many other sufferers; they put them down at his feet, and he healed them. 31Great was the amazement of the people when they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled made strong, the lame walking, and the blind with their sight restored; and they gave praise to the God of Israel.

32Jesus called his disciples and said to them, ‘My heart goes out to these people; they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry; they might faint on the way.’ 33The disciples replied, ‘Where in this remote place can we find bread enough to feed such a crowd?’ 34‘How many loaves have you?’ Jesus asked. ‘Seven,’ they replied, ‘and a few small fish.’ 35So he ordered the people to sit down on the ground; 36then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and after giving thanks to God he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 37They all ate and were satisfied; and seven baskets were filled with what was left over. 38Those who were fed numbered four thousand men, not counting women and children. 39After dismissing the crowd, he got into a boat and went to the neighbourhood of Magadan.

Notes:

a 15:14 blind guides: some witnesses add of blind men.

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