But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said,“ He’s possessed by Satan, the prince of demons. That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons.”
But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves,“ Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”
“ What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!“ Blind guides! What sorrow awaits you! For you say that it means nothing to swear‘ by God’s Temple,’ but that it is binding to swear‘ by the gold in the Temple.’Blind fools! Which is more important— the gold or the Temple that makes the gold sacred?And you say that to swear‘ by the altar’ is not binding, but to swear‘ by the gifts on the altar’ is binding.How blind! For which is more important— the gift on the altar or the altar that makes the gift sacred?When you swear‘ by the altar,’ you are swearing by it and by everything on it.And when you swear‘ by the Temple,’ you are swearing by it and by God, who lives in it.And when you swear‘ by heaven,’ you are swearing by the throne of God and by God, who sits on the throne.“ What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law— justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.Blind guides! You strain your water so you won’t accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel!“ What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy— full of greed and self indulgence!You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.“ What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs— beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.
“ But I warn you— unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!
“ The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses.
So there was a great uproar. Some of the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees jumped up and began to argue forcefully.“ We see nothing wrong with him,” they shouted.“ Perhaps a spirit or an angel spoke to him.”
One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby.( It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.
But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples,“ Why do you eat and drink with such scum?”
One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus.They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating.( The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands, as required by their ancient traditions.Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to— such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.)So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him,“ Why don’t your disciples follow our age old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand washing ceremony.”Jesus replied,“ You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,‘ These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.Their worship is a farce, for they teach man made ideas as commands from God.’For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”Then he said,“ You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition.For instance, Moses gave you this law from God:‘ Honor your father and mother,’ and‘ Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents,‘ Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents.And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.”Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear.“ All of you listen,” he said,“ and try to understand.It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.”