One afternoon, a group of Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus.
“Why do your disciples transgress the law? They don’t wash their hands before they eat bread,” asked one. Jesus ignored their question and asked His own,
“Why do you transgress the commandments of God with your traditions? God has commanded, ‘Honor your father and mother.’
But you dedicate your lands and property to God, and then tell your parents that you cannot be of service to them, making yourself free from the needs of your parents.
This tradition has made the commandment of God futile. You are hypocrites. The prophet Esaias was right when he said ‘This people comes close to me with their mouth and honors me with their words, but their heart is far from me.’
Their worship is fruitless, because they teach commandments of men as God’s doctrine.” Jesus then turned from the scribes and Pharisees to call the attention of all the people gathered there.
“Listen and understand. What goes into a man does not corrupt him, but what comes out of his mouth.” Uncomfortable silence followed.
The Pharisees and scribes left. Then the disciples came up to Jesus.
“Master, do you know that you offended the Pharisees when you spoke just now?” one asked quietly.
“Every plant that hasn’t been planted by my Father will be pulled up,” said Jesus unapologetically.
“Don’t worry about them. They are the blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, they both will fall into a ditch.”
“What do you mean? Will you explain?” asked Peter.
“You still don’t understand me?” sighed Jesus. “Whatever goes in a man’s mouth then goes into his belly and eventually leaves his body. But what comes out of a man’s mouth comes from his heart, and those can corrupt him. From the heart can come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, lies. These things condemn a man. But to eat without washing your hands, that will not condemn a man.”