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God's Law Outweighs

Man's Tradition

(Chapter 15, verses 1-11)

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       (1) Then Pharisees and scribes traveled from Jerusalem to debate with Jesus, asking: (2) "Why don't your disciples follow the traditions of our forefathers? For example, we noticed they don't ceremo­nially wash their hands before eating." (3) Jesus responded: "Let me ask you a question first: Why do you follow our forefathers' tradition, but complete ignore the commandments of the God they claimed to worship? (4) You gave me one example; I'll give you two. God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,' and, ‘Execute the person who berates either his father or his mother.' (5) You men have changed these simple commands. Instead, you say, ‘Whoever tells his father or mother: "Anything I have that you can gain some profit from I'm giving as a gift to God. I've dedicated it to him."' (6) He doesn't have to honor his mother and father at all according to your custom. So, you've effectively made God's word null and void because of your tradition. (7) Let me put it to you this way: You're all a bunch of hypocrites. Isaiah sure knew what he was saying when he prophesied about you men when he wrote, (8) ‘This people say the right things about me with their mouths, but they don't really mean it. Their hearts aren't it. (9) Their worship means nothing to me because they elevate their doctrines over my word.'" (10) With that, he told everyone to gather closely around him and said to them: "Pay close attention and compre­hend what I'm telling you: (11) The food that crosses a man's lips doesn't stain his soul. Instead, it's the words that part those lips that befoul him."

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Jesus Explains Illustration

of ‘Words that Befoul a Man'

(Chapter 15, verses 12-20)

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       (12) Then the disciples approached him and said: "You do know you offended the Pharisees by what you said, don't you?" (13) He responded: "If the plant wasn't planted by my heavenly Father, it's going to be uprooted anyway. (14) Don't be too concerned with them; it's the blind leading the blind in their case. Out there is an unsuspecting hole in the ground waiting for them to plunge into it." (15) Peter requested: "In plain words, tell us what you mean when you say that words befoul a man." (16) At this he said to them all: "You guys still don't get the point, do you? (17) Okay, let me break it down for you. Here's the simple process: [1] All the food you put into your mouth (everything you eat), eventually reaches the lower intestines; [2] sooner or later you have a bowel movement; [3] then the discharge goes into the sewer. Get it? (18) On the other hand, the words coming out of your mouth spring from the heart (not the intestines!), and those words are like verbal sewage. (19) For example, the heart produces wicked reasonings, murders, marital infidelities, illicit sex, thieveries, false testimonies, and irreverent statements. (20) These things amount to internal metaphorical sewage that befouls a man's soul; but to eat without ceremonially washing your hands doesn't dirty a man's soul at all."

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Jesus Heals Demonized Girl

(Chapter 15, verses 21-28)

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       (21) Jesus left there and retreated into certain areas of Tyre and Sidon. (22) And, notice there! A local woman, a Phoenician, came out crying aloud: "Have compassion for me, Son of David. My daughter is badly demonized." (23) But he didn't say a word to her. When his disciples reached him they began requesting: "Get rid of her. She keeps follow­ing us, crying all over the place." (24) He answered her by saying: "I was sent to lost Jews only." (25) When the woman came closer she bowed out of reverence to him, desperately imploring: "Lord, you've got to help me, please!" (26) He answered her by saying: "It's not right to take food out of the mouths of babies and put it into the mouths of puppies." (27) She said: "Yes, I agree Lord. But even puppies eat crumbs falling from the table of their owners." (28) Then he replied: "Wow, what a comeback! You have great faith, woman. Let it happen as you wish." And from that moment on her daughter was cured.

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Jesus Does More Healing

--Miraculously Feeds Thousands

(Chapter 15, verses 29-39)

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       (29) Jesus cut across country and came to his next stop near the Sea of Galilee. He went up into the mountain, sat down, and rested. (30) Then the crowds came to him bringing with them their handicap, mutilated, visually impaired, speech­less, and others with a bevy of ailments. They virtually threw them at his feet, and he cured them. (31) It amazed the crowd as they saw the speechless speaking, the handicap walking, the visually impaired seeing clearly; and they gave glory to the God of Israel.

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       (32) But Jesus summoned the disciples to him and said: "I feel sorry for the crowd because they've been here with me for three days and there's nothing for them to eat. I don't want to send them away hungry. They might faint from hunger on the road." (33) The disciples retorted with a question: "Where, out in the middle of nowhere, are we going to get enough food to feed all these people?" (34) Jesus asked: "How many loaves do you have between yourselves?" They answered: "Seven, and a few small fish." (35) So, after telling the people to get comfortable by stretching out on the grass, (36) he took the seven loaves and small fishes, looked up to heaven, said a blessing, broke the bread, and gave these to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. (37) Everyone ate and was full. In fact, there were seven baskets full of leftovers (38) even though there were about four thousand men, not including women and children. (39) Finally, he sent the crowds away, boarded a boat, and came into the regions of Magadan.

To Matthew Chapter 16