What Pollutes Your Life 15 1After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, 2“Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?” 3But Jesus put it right back on them. “Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands? 4God clearly says, ‘Respect your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.’ 5But you weasel around that by saying, ‘Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I’ve given to God.’ 6That can hardly be called respecting a parent. You cancel God’s command by your rules. 7Frauds! Isaiah’s prophecy of you hit the bull’s–eye: 8These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it. 9They act like they’re worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy.” 10He then called the crowd together and said, “Listen, and take this to heart. 11It’s not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up.” 12Later his disciples came and told him, “Did you know how upset the Pharisees were when they heard what you said?” 13Jesus shrugged it off. “Every tree that wasn’t planted by my Father in heaven will be pulled up by its roots. 14Forget them. They are blind men leading blind men. When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.” 15Peter said, “I don’t get it. Put it in plain language.” 16Jesus replied, “You, too? Are you being willfully stupid? 17Don’t you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? 18But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. 19It’s from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, lies, and cussing. 20That’s what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands—that’s neither here nor there.” Healing the People 21From there Jesus took a trip to Tyre and Sidon. 22They had hardly arrived when a Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, “Mercy, Master, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit.” 23Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, “Now she’s bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She’s driving us crazy.” 24Jesus refused, telling them, “I’ve got my hands full dealing with the lost sheep of Israel.” 25Then the woman came back to Jesus, went to her knees, and begged. “Master, help me.” 26He said, “It’s not right to take bread out of children’s mouths and throw it to dogs.” 27She was quick: “You’re right, Master, but beggar dogs do get scraps from the master’s table.” 28Jesus gave in. “Oh, woman, your faith is something else. What you want is what you get!” Right then her daughter became well. 29After Jesus returned, he walked along Lake Galilee and then climbed a mountain and took his place, ready to receive visitors. 30They came, tons of them, bringing along the paraplegic, the blind, the maimed, the mute—all sorts of people in need—and more or less threw them down at Jesus’ feet to see what he would do with them. He healed them. 31When the people saw the mutes speaking, the maimed healthy, the paraplegics walking around, the blind looking around, they were astonished and let everyone know that God was blazingly alive among them. 32But Jesus wasn’t finished with them. He called his disciples and said, “I hurt for these people. For three days now they’ve been with me, and now they have nothing to eat. I can’t send them away without a meal—they’d probably collapse on the road.” 33His disciples said, “But where in this deserted place are you going to dig up enough food for a meal?” 34Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?” “Seven loaves,” they said, “plus a few fish.” 35At that, Jesus directed the people to sit down. 36He took the seven loaves and the fish. After giving thanks, he divided it up and gave it to the people. 37Everyone ate. They had all they wanted. It took seven large baskets to collect the leftovers. 38Over four thousand people ate their fill at that meal. 39After Jesus sent them away, he climbed in the boat and crossed over to the Magadan hills.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About