Matthew 15 (Listen)

Traditions and Commandments

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

  “‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;
  in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

What Defiles a Person

10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”

The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

Jesus Heals Many

29 Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30 And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, 31 so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” 33 And the disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” 34 And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” 35 And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over. 38 Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And after sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan.

(ESV)

Next Chapter: Jeremiah 41

Jeremiah 41 (Listen)

Gedaliah Murdered

In the seventh month, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of the royal family, one of the chief officers of the king, came with ten men to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah. As they ate bread together there at Mizpah, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the ten men with him rose up and struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, with the sword, and killed him, whom the king of Babylon had appointed governor in the land. Ishmael also struck down all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, and the Chaldean soldiers who happened to be there.

On the day after the murder of Gedaliah, before anyone knew of it, eighty men arrived from Shechem and Shiloh and Samaria, with their beards shaved and their clothes torn, and their bodies gashed, bringing grain offerings and incense to present at the temple of the LORD. And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah came out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he came. As he met them, he said to them, “Come in to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.” When they came into the city, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah and the men with him slaughtered them and cast them into a cistern. But there were ten men among them who said to Ishmael, “Do not put us to death, for we have stores of wheat, barley, oil, and honey hidden in the fields.” So he refrained and did not put them to death with their companions.

Now the cistern into which Ishmael had thrown all the bodies of the men whom he had struck down along with Gedaliah was the large cistern that King Asa had made for defense against Baasha king of Israel; Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with the slain. 10 Then Ishmael took captive all the rest of the people who were in Mizpah, the king’s daughters and all the people who were left at Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam. Ishmael the son of Nethaniah took them captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.

11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces with him heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done, 12 they took all their men and went to fight against Ishmael the son of Nethaniah. They came upon him at the great pool that is in Gibeon. 13 And when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces with him, they rejoiced. 14 So all the people whom Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned around and came back, and went to Johanan the son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites. 16 Then Johanan the son of Kareah and all the leaders of the forces with him took from Mizpah all the rest of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, after he had struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam—soldiers, women, children, and eunuchs, whom Johanan brought back from Gibeon. 17 And they went and stayed at Geruth Chimham near Bethlehem, intending to go to Egypt 18 because of the Chaldeans. For they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had struck down Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.

(ESV)

Next Chapter: Proverbs 4

Proverbs 4 (Listen)

A Father’s Wise Instruction

  Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
    and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
  for I give you good precepts;
    do not forsake my teaching.
  When I was a son with my father,
    tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
  he taught me and said to me,
  “Let your heart hold fast my words;
    keep my commandments, and live.
  Get wisdom; get insight;
    do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
  Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
    love her, and she will guard you.
  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
    and whatever you get, get insight.
  Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
    she will honor you if you embrace her.
  She will place on your head a graceful garland;
    she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
10   Hear, my son, and accept my words,
    that the years of your life may be many.
11   I have taught you the way of wisdom;
    I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12   When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
    and if you run, you will not stumble.
13   Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
    guard her, for she is your life.
14   Do not enter the path of the wicked,
    and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15   Avoid it; do not go on it;
    turn away from it and pass on.
16   For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
    they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17   For they eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
18   But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
    which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19   The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know over what they stumble.
20   My son, be attentive to my words;
    incline your ear to my sayings.
21   Let them not escape from your sight;
    keep them within your heart.
22   For they are life to those who find them,
    and healing to all their flesh.
23   Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.
24   Put away from you crooked speech,
    and put devious talk far from you.
25   Let your eyes look directly forward,
    and your gaze be straight before you.
26   Ponder the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.
27   Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
    turn your foot away from evil.

(ESV)

Next Chapter: Psalm 66

Psalm 66 (Listen)

How Awesome Are Your Deeds

To the choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm.

  Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
    sing the glory of his name;
    give to him glorious praise!
  Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
  All the earth worships you
    and sings praises to you;
    they sing praises to your name.” Selah
  Come and see what God has done:
    he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
  He turned the sea into dry land;
    they passed through the river on foot.
  There did we rejoice in him,
    who rules by his might forever,
  whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
    let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
  Bless our God, O peoples;
    let the sound of his praise be heard,
  who has kept our soul among the living
    and has not let our feet slip.
10   For you, O God, have tested us;
    you have tried us as silver is tried.
11   You brought us into the net;
    you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
12   you let men ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and through water;
  yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
13   I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
    I will perform my vows to you,
14   that which my lips uttered
    and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15   I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals,
    with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
  I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah
16   Come and hear, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17   I cried to him with my mouth,
    and high praise was on my tongue.
18   If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
19   But truly God has listened;
    he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20   Blessed be God,
    because he has not rejected my prayer
    or removed his steadfast love from me!

(ESV)

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