Followers of Tradition
1 Now there gathered together to [Jesus] the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 For they had seen that some of His disciples ate with common hands, that is, unwashed [with hands defiled and unhallowed, because they had not given them a ceremonial washing] -- " 3 For the Pharisees and all of the Jews do not eat unless [merely for ceremonial reasons] they wash their hands [diligently up to the elbow] with clenched fist, adhering [carefully and faithfully] to the tradition of [practices and customs handed down to them by] their forefathers [to be observed]. 4 And [when they come] from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions [oral, man-made laws handed down to them, which they observe faithfully and diligently, such as], the washing of cups and wooden pitchers and widemouthed jugs and utensils of copper and beds -- " 5 And the Pharisees and scribes kept asking [Jesus], Why do Your disciples not order their way of living according to the tradition handed down by the forefathers [to be observed], but eat with hands unwashed and ceremonially not purified? 6 But He said to them, Excellently and truly [ so that there will be no room for blame] did Isaiah prophesy of you, the pretenders and hypocrites, as it stands written: These people [constantly] honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far distant from Me. 7 In vain (fruitlessly and without profit) do they worship Me, ordering and teaching [to be obeyed] as doctrines the commandments and precepts of men.
8 You disregard and give up and ask to depart from you the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men [keeping it carefully and faithfully].
9 And He said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting [thus thwarting and nullifying and doing away with] the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition (your own human regulations)! 10 For Moses said, Honor (revere with tenderness of feeling and deference) your father and your mother, and, He who curses or reviles or speaks evil of or abuses or treats improperly his father or mother, let him surely die. 11 But [as for you] you say, A man is exempt if he tells [his] father or [his] mother, What you would otherwise have gained from me [everything I have that would have been of use to you] is Corban, that is, is a gift [already given as an offering to God], 12 Then you no longer are permitting him to do anything for [his] father or mother [but are letting him off from helping them]. 13 Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on. And many things of this kind you are doing.
The Heart of Man
14 And He called the people to [Him] again and said to them, Listen to Me, all of you, and understand [what I say]. 15 There is not [even] one thing outside a man which by going into him can pollute and defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him and make him unhallowed and unclean. 16 If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening [and let him perceive and comprehend by hearing].
17 And when He had left the crowd and had gone into the house, His disciples began asking Him about the parable. 18 And He said to them, Then are you also unintelligent and dull and without understanding? Do you not discern and see that whatever goes into a man from the outside cannot make him unhallowed or unclean, 19 Since it does not reach and enter his heart but [only his] digestive tract, and so passes on [into the place designed to receive waste]? Thus He was making and declaring all foods [ceremonially] clean [that is, abolishing the ceremonial distinctions of the Levitical Law]. 20 And He said, What comes out of a man is what makes a man unclean and renders [him] unhallowed. 21 For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, 22 Coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride ( the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness). 23 All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed.
The Syrophoenician Woman
24 And Jesus arose and went away from there to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He went into a house and did not want anyone to know [that He was there]; but it was not possible for Him to be hidden [from public notice]. 25 Instead, at once, a woman whose little daughter had (was under the control of) an unclean spirit heard about Him and came and flung herself down at His feet. 26 Now the woman was a Greek (Gentile), a Syrophoenician by nationality. And she kept begging Him to drive the demon out of her little daughter. 27 And He said to her, First let the children be fed, for it is not becoming or proper or right to take the children's bread and throw it to the [little house] dogs. 28 But she answered Him, Yes, Lord, yet even the small pups under the table eat the little children's scraps of food. 29 And He said to her, Because of this saying, you may go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter [permanently]. 30 And she went home and found the child thrown on the couch, and the demon departed.
31 Soon after this, Jesus, coming back from the region of Tyre, passed through Sidon on to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of Decapolis [the ten cities]. 32 And they brought to Him a man who was deaf and had difficulty in speaking, and they begged Jesus to place His hand upon him. 33 And taking him aside from the crowd [privately], He thrust His fingers into the man's ears and spat and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, He sighed as He said, Ephphatha, which means, Be opened! 35 And his ears were opened, his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak distinctly and as he should. 36 And Jesus [ in His own interest] admonished and ordered them sternly and expressly to tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 And they were overwhelmingly astonished, saying, He has done everything excellently (commendably and nobly)! He even makes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak!