Followers of Tradition
1The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, 2and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. 3(For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; 4and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.) 5The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?”
6And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
7’But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’
8Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
9He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. 10For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; 11but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ 12you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; 13thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”
The Heart of Man
14After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 16[If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”]
17When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”
The Syrophoenician Woman
24Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice. 25But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28But she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” 29And He said to her, “Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” 30And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left.
31Again He went out from the region of Tyre, and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of Decapolis. 32They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him. 33Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva; 34and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!” 35And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly. 36And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it. 37They were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
1. How should the Pharisees and Scribes been worshipping God?
2. How should we measure a person’s character?
3. Am I content to dine on the crumbs falling from my Master’s table?