1 Then some Pharisees and experts in the law of Moses came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 "Why do your disciples violate the tradition of the [Jewish] elders? For they do not [ceremonially] wash their hands before eating [their meals]."
3 And He answered them, "Why do you also violate the commandments of God by [following] your traditions? 4 For God said, [Ex. 20:12], 'Give honor to your father and mother.' and [Ex. 21:17], 'Whoever says bad things about his father or mother should surely be put to death.'
5 But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, I have given to God the money I could have helped you with;' 6 this person does not honor his father [or mother]. You have made God's message useless by [thus enforcing] your traditions. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied accurately about you, saying [Isa. 29:13],
8 These people [claim to] honor me with their lips [i.e., by what they say], but their heart is far from [honoring] me. 9 They are worshiping me for nothing [because they are] teaching principles that are [merely] the requirements of men.'"
10 Then Jesus called the crowds to come to Him, and He said to them, "Listen and understand. 11 It is not what enters the mouth of a person that [spiritually] corrupts him, but what proceeds out of his mouth that [spiritually] corrupts him."
12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were upset [with you] when they heard [you say] that?"
13 But He answered and said, "Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. 14 [So], let these Pharisees alone; they are blind leaders. And if a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a ditch."
15 And Peter said to Him, "Explain the parable to us."
16 And He replied, "Are you still unable to understand? 17 Do you not realize that whatever enters a person's mouth goes into his stomach and [eventually] passes out into the toilet? 18 But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from his heart. These are what [spiritually] corrupt a person. 19 For evil thoughts, murder, extramarital affairs, sexual immorality, stealing, perjury, slander --- [all these] come from a person's heart, 20 and are what corrupt him [spiritually]. But eating [a meal] with [ceremonially] unwashed hands does not [spiritually] corrupt him."
21 And Jesus left there and went into the regions of Tyre and Sidon [i.e., cities on the northwest coast of Palestine]. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman came out of that area [Note: Mark 7:26 calls her a Syrophoenician Gentile], crying, "O Lord, son of David, have pity on me. My daughter is seriously troubled by an evil spirit."
23 But He did not say a word to her. His disciples came and begged Him, "Send her away, for she is [continually] shouting at us [as we go along]."
24 He answered them, "I was sent only to the straying sheep of the Israelites."
25 But she came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, help me."
26 And He answered [her], "It is not proper to take bread away from the children and throw it to the dogs." 27 But she replied, "Yes, Lord, but even dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their owner's table."
28 Then Jesus answered her, "O, woman, how great your faith is. May what you want be done for you." And her daughter was healed that very moment.
29 Jesus left there and went [over] near Lake Galilee. He went up into a mountain and sat down there. 30 Large crowds came to Him, bringing crippled, blind, deaf-mute, disabled and many other [sick] people and laid them down at His feet. And He healed [all of] them, 31 so that the crowd marveled when they saw deaf-mutes talking, injured people healed, crippled people walking and blind people seeing. And they honored the God of the Israelites [for such great miracles].
32 Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, "I feel deeply moved over this crowd, because they have continued listening to me for three days now, and have nothing [left] to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry because they will become weak along the way."
33 And the disciples said to Him, "Where will we get enough loaves of bread to feed a large crowd in [such] a deserted place [as this]?"
34 Jesus replied, "How many loaves of bread do you have?" They said, "[We have] seven [loaves] and a few small fish."
35 Then He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 and He took the seven loaves of bread and the fish and gave thanks to God for them. He divided the food and gave it to the disciples who, [in turn], distributed it to the crowds. 37 They all ate until they were full; then gathered up seven baskets full of broken pieces which were left over. 38 The number who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 Jesus then sent the crowds away while He boarded a boat and crossed the lake to the region of Magadan [i.e., the west side of Lake Galilee].