By Lindy Pate
“Wow, Jesus is so wise.” Joe observed. We had been working through Matthew 15:1-11 for about 45 minutes. We had reached the part where Jesus tells the crowds that it is not what goes into the mouth that makes a person unclean but what comes out. Joe explained that Jesus had heard the Pharisees’ question about hand washing and responded by talking about their lives. Then he talked about what God commands. After that, he came back to answer their question.
Joe made the connection between Jesus’s words…
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Matt 15:1-2
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matt 15:10-11
I love checking translations because I get to watch people wrestle with scripture. As you ask comprehension questions, you can see the wheels turning. And the moment when the light bulb comes on is always wonderful. It makes my understanding of the passage brighter too.
Lindy is a Bible translator serving in Papua New Guinea.