Jesus returned to Galilee where he continued his ministry. But he did not return to Judea because the Jews were determined to kill him.
A group of Pharisees came from Jerusalem and joined some scribes. They began to question Jesus. They had seen some of Jesus’ disciples eat their food with unwashed hands. They considered this a defilement and rebellion against the tradition of the elders.
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus:
Why don’t your disciples follow the traditions of the elders?
Jesus told them:
Why do you disobey the commandment of God? Because of your traditions? You hypocrites. The prophet Isaiah was right about you when he said:
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
They worship me in vain, teaching instead the precepts and principles of men.
You push away the commandments of God and hold fast the traditions of men. You would rather obey man than obey God.
For God, through Moses, said:
Honor your father and your mother, let anyone who speaks evil of his father or mother be put to death.
But you have undone the clear intention of Gods law with your own traditions.
You refuse to support your parents in their old age by calling the money that should be used for your parents a special gift to God.
That allows you to keep the gift for yourself instead of using it to support your parents.
In this way you insult God and create a tradition that undoes God’s purpose that you should support your parents in their old age.
This is just one example of the ways you subvert the true intentions of God’s commands with your own traditions.
Jesus called the crowds of people to him.
Jesus said to them:
It is not what goes into a man’s mouth that corrupts or defiles him, it is what comes out of his mouth that corrupts and defiles.
Jesus then entered into the home where he was staying. His disciples came to him and said:
Did you know that you greatly offended the Pharisees by what you said?
Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. Leave the Pharisees alone; they are blind guides. The blind guides and the blind who they lead will both fall into a pit.
Peter said to Jesus:
Tell us the meaning of what you said to the Pharisees.
You don’t understand that it is not the outside things that defile a man but the things that are in his heart.
If a man eats meat, it goes into his stomach and through his digestive system and is then flushed out of his system. It does not go through the heart of a man.
It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean, and they are:
Sensuality and envious eye
All these evil things are produced from inside a man. Eating with unwashed hands does not defile a man.