Read 1 and 2. In this verse, “unclean” does not mean that there is dirt. It means that according to an Old Testament rule, the person cannot come into the temple to pray because he did not do a correct ceremony with water after he came into contact with something that symbolized our sinful world. You can see an example of one of these Old Testament rules about a washing ceremony in Leviticus 17:15-16.
Read 3 and 4. In the Old Testament, God gave some rules about ceremonies, but the Jewish people added many additional rules, which are not in the Bible. For example, the ceremonies to wash your hands or to wash your dishes do not come from the Bible. They were made by the Jewish people, not by God. Their mistake was that they thought they could become closer to God if they made more rules. Do you know people today who have this attitude? Also, because they made more rules and followed those rules very carefully, they made another mistake. They thought they were better than other people. In the Bible, the Pharisees had this kind of feeling. Do you know people who have this feeling?
Read 5. Notice that the Pharisees knew that the hand-washing ceremony was not God’s law. They knew it was a human tradition that came from an older generation.
Read 6 and 7 . These words are quoted from Isaiah 29 : 13 , which was written about 600 BC. It means it is no use to worship God by adding your own rules .
Read 8 and 9 . The Pharisees made two mistakes. First, they added more rules. Second, they were more careful to follow their own new rules than to follow the rules that God gave them. The following verses give an example.
Read 10 to 13 . ” Corban ” is a Hebrew word. It means ” something that is given to God ” . The Pharisees’ mistake was that they made up a new rule. They said that you did not have to take care of your parents, if you said that the money was for God. This rule did not come from God. God commands us to love our parents.
Read 14 to 16. Jesus means that we should not consider someone to be far from God if he does not do a ceremony correctly. For example, God gave rules to the Jews which said that you must not eat certain foods, such as pork. If someone ate pork, they called him “unclean ” , which means they thought he could not come near to God. But Jesus said that the thing that really makes us far from God is the evil thoughts which are in our hearts. The next verses explain this more clearly.
Read 17 to 19 . Jesus is God, so Jesus has the authority to change God’s rules. In the Old Testament, God told the Jews very clearly that they must not eat pork. But in this sentence, Jesus changed the rule. From this time on, God says that people can eat every kind of food. Some people think that they can be closer to God if they do not eat meat. Do you know people like this? But God says that there is no relationship between food and Faith. No matter what you eat, you can be close to God.
Read 20 to 23. Jesus says that our sinful thoughts and actions make us far from God. Therefore we must repent and trust in Jesus.
Read 24 . Tyre is a city in the country called Lebanon, which is north of Israel. Why didn’t Jesus want anyone to know where he went? The Bible does not say. Maybe he wanted to rest.
Read 25 to 26. Phoenicia is an older name for Lebanon. At the time, Phoenicia was connected to Syria, a country to the east.
Read 27. In this verse, the “children” means the Jews, and the ” dogs ” means other people,
Read 28. The woman had very deep understanding. She knew that God did not only want to help the Jews. She knew that God wanted to help everyone.
Read 29 and 30. Jesus meant that her answer showed that she had correct Faith. Because she had Faith, jesus helped her daughter.
Read 31. “Decapolis” means ten cities. Theey are in the area east of the Sea of Galilee. The people who lived there were mostly non-Jews.
Read 32 to 34. The word Jesus used is in a language called “Aramaic “.
Read 35. This time, Jesus used a certain method to heal the man. Other times, Jesus used other methods. The important thing is not the method. The important thing is that Jesus has power.
Read 36 to 38. Jesus healed people. This proved that Jesus is the Messiah (the great king who will save us). For example, Isaiah 35 : 5 tells us that in the days when Messiah comes, the blind will see and the deaf will hear.