Matthew 15:1-20

Tradition and Commandment

1Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2“Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” 3And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” 6he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

8‘This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
9‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”

10After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. 11It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

12Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” 13But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. 14Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

The Heart of Man

15Peter said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? 17Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright © by The Lockman Foundation. lockman.org

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