The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Him.
They observed that some of His disciples were eating their bread with unclean-- that is, unwashed-- hands.
(For the Pharisees, in fact all the Jews, will not eat unless they wash their hands ritually, keeping the tradition of the elders.
When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they have washed. And there are many other customs they have received and keep, like the washing of cups, jugs, copper utensils, and dining couches.)
Then the Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, "Why don't Your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders, instead of eating bread with ritually unclean hands?"
He answered them, "Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.
Disregarding the command of God, you keep the tradition of men."
He also said to them, "You completely invalidate God's command in order to maintain your tradition!
For Moses said: Honor your father and your mother; and, Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death.
But you say, 'If a man tells his father or mother: Whatever benefit you might have received from me is Corban ' " (that is, a gift [committed to the temple]),
"you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother.
You revoke God's word by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many other similar things."
Summoning the crowd again, He told them, "Listen to Me, all of you, and understand:
Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.
If anyone has ears to hear, he should listen!"
When He went into the house away from the crowd, the disciples asked Him about the parable.
And He said to them, "Are you also as lacking in understanding? Don't you realize that nothing going into a man from the outside can defile him?
For it doesn't go into his heart but into the stomach and is eliminated." (As a result, He made all foods clean.)
Then He said, "What comes out of a person-- that defiles him.
For from within, out of people's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders,
adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, lewdness, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness.
All these evil things come from within and defile a person."
He got up and departed from there to the region of Tyre and Sidon. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it, but He could not escape notice.
Instead, immediately after hearing about Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit came and fell at His feet.
Now the woman was Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to drive the demon out of her daughter.
He said to her, "Allow the children to be satisfied first, because it isn't right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
But she replied to Him, "Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
Then He told her, "Because of this reply, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter."
When she went back to her home, she found her child lying on the bed, and the demon was gone.
Again, leaving the region of Tyre, He went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis.
They brought to Him a deaf man who also had a speech difficulty, and begged Jesus to lay His hand on him.
So He took him away from the crowd privately. After putting His fingers in the man's ears and spitting, He touched his tongue.
Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed deeply and said to him, "Ephphatha!" (that is, "Be opened!").
Immediately his ears were opened, his speech difficulty was removed, and he began to speak clearly.
Then He ordered them to tell no one, but the more He would order them, the more they would proclaim it.
They were extremely astonished and said, "He has done everything well! He even makes deaf people hear, and people unable to speak, talk!"
In those days there was again a large crowd, and they had nothing to eat. He summoned the disciples and said to them,
"I have compassion on the crowd, because they've already stayed with Me three days and have nothing to eat.
If I send them home famished, they will collapse on the way, and some of them have come a long distance."
His disciples answered Him, "Where can anyone get enough bread here in this desolate place to fill these people?"
"How many loaves do you have?" He asked them. "Seven," they said.
Then He commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground. Taking the seven loaves, He gave thanks, broke the [loaves], and kept on giving [them] to His disciples to set before [the people]. So they served the [loaves] to the crowd.
They also had a few small fish, and when He had blessed them, He said these were to be served as well.
They ate and were filled. Then they collected seven large baskets of leftover pieces.
About 4,000 [men] were there. He dismissed them
and immediately got into the boat with His disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.
The Pharisees came out and began to argue with Him, demanding of Him a sign from heaven to test Him.
But sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, "Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you: No sign will be given to this generation!"
Then He left them, got on board [the boat] again, and went to the other side.
They had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Then he commanded them: "Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod."
They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread.
Aware of this, He said to them, "Why are you discussing that you do not have any bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Is your heart hardened?
Do you have eyes, and not see, and do you have ears, and not hear? And do you not remember?
When I broke the five loaves for the 5,000, how many baskets full of pieces of bread did you collect?" "Twelve," they told Him.
"When I broke the seven loaves for the 4,000, how many large baskets full of pieces of bread did you collect?" "Seven," they said.
And He said to them, "Don't you understand yet?"
Then they came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to Him and begged Him to touch him.
He took the blind man by the hand and brought him out of the village. Spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?"
He looked up and said, "I see people-- they look to me like trees walking."
Again Jesus placed His hands on the man's eyes, and he saw distinctly. He was cured and could see everything clearly.
Then He sent him home, saying, "Don't even go into the village."
Jesus went out with His disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the road He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?"
They answered Him, "John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, one of the prophets."
"But you," He asked them again, "who do you say that I am?" Peter answered Him, "You are the Messiah!"
And He strictly warned them to tell no one about Him.
Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, be killed, and rise after three days.
He was openly talking about this. So Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him.
But turning around and looking at His disciples, He rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind Me, Satan, because you're not thinking about God's concerns, but man's!"
Summoning the crowd along with His disciples, He said to them, "If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it.
For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world yet lose his life?
What can a man give in exchange for his life?
For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
Then He said to them, "I assure you: There are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God come in power."
After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up on a high mountain by themselves to be alone. He was transformed in front of them,
and His clothes became dazzling-- extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them.
Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah"--
because he did not know what he should say, since they were terrified.
A cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud: This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!
Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone.
As they were coming down from the mountain, He ordered them to tell no one what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
They kept this word to themselves, discussing what "rising from the dead" meant.
Then they began to question Him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
"Elijah does come first and restores everything," He replied. "How then is it written about the Son of Man that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt?
But I tell you that Elijah really has come, and they did to him whatever they wanted, just as it is written about him."
When they came to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes disputing with them.
All of a sudden, when the whole crowd saw Him, they were amazed and ran to greet Him.
Then He asked them, "What are you arguing with them about?"
Out of the crowd, one man answered Him, "Teacher, I brought my son to You. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak.
Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I asked Your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn't."
He replied to them, "You unbelieving generation! How long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to Me."
So they brought him to Him. When the spirit saw Him, it immediately convulsed the boy. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
"How long has this been happening to him?" Jesus asked his father. "From childhood," he said.
"And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us."
Then Jesus said to him, " 'If You can?' Everything is possible to the one who believes."
Immediately the father of the boy cried out, "I do believe! Help my unbelief."
When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly coming together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You mute and deaf spirit, I command you: come out of him and never enter him again!"
Then it came out, shrieking and convulsing him violently. The boy became like a corpse, so that many said, "He's dead."
But Jesus, taking him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.
After He went into a house, His disciples asked Him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"
And He told them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer [[and fasting]]."
Then they left that place and made their way through Galilee, but He did not want anyone to know it.
For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, "The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and after He is killed, He will rise three days later."
But they did not understand this statement, and they were afraid to ask Him.
Then they came to Capernaum. When He was in the house, He asked them, "What were you arguing about on the way?"
But they were silent, because on the way they had been arguing with one another about who was the greatest.
Sitting down, He called the Twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all."
Then He took a child, had him stand among them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them,
"Whoever welcomes one little child such as this in My name welcomes Me. And whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me, but Him who sent Me."
John said to Him, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him because he wasn't following us."
"Don't stop him," said Jesus, "because there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name who can soon afterwards speak evil of Me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
And whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of My name, since you belong to the Messiah-- I assure you: He will never lose his reward.
"But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me-- it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
And if your hand causes your downfall, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and go to hell-- the unquenchable fire,
[[where Their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.]]
And if your foot causes your downfall, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and be thrown into hell-- [[the unquenchable fire,
where Their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.]]
And if your eye causes your downfall, gouge it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
where Their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
For everyone will be salted with fire.
Salt is good, but if the salt should lose its flavor, how can you make it salty? Have salt among yourselves and be at peace with one another."