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The Book of Jesus

Chapter Nine

The New Amsterdam Publishing Company
Copyright © 1997

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The Traditions of the Pharisees

NARRATOR.
The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem then came to Jesus and gathered around him. When they saw some of his disciples eating with unclean hands, that is to say without first washing them, they found fault. For the Pharisees and the Jews in general held fast to the tradition of the elders and wouldn't eat unless they first washed their arms right up to the elbow. Even when they came back from the marketplace, they would not eat anything unless it was washed first. There were many other things that they observed which had been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups, pots and bronze dishes. The Pharisees and the Scribes asked him:
PHARISEES/SCRIBES.
Why do your disciples break away from the tradition of the elders and not follow them? Your disciples eat their food without washing their hands.
JESUS.
Why do you also break away from the commandment of God by your tradition? How rightly Isaiah prophesied about you hypocrites! As it is written:
'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship me in vain because they teach the commandments of men as doctrines.'
You put aside the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men, such as washing pots, cups and many other things like these things you do. How ingeniously you side step the commandment of God in order to preserve your own tradition. For God said by Moses, 'Honor your father and your mother. Anyone who curses his father or his mother must be put to death.' But you say, 'If anyone says to his father or mother, anything I have that might have been used to help you is Corban, that is an offering, dedicated to God.' From that moment on he is forbidden to do anything for his mother or father, he has gotten rid of his obligation to them. By your tradition that you have handed down, you have the made the word of God null and void. And there are many things you do like this.

Matthew 15:1-9; Mark 7:1-13

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Things That Make a Man Unclean

NARRATOR.
He called the people to him and said:
JESUS.
Listen to me everyone of you and understand. There is nothing that can go into a man's mouth from the outside that will make that person unclean. It is the things that come out of a man's mouth that make him unclean. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen!
NARRATOR.
When Jesus had left the people and gone back into the house, his disciples came to him and said:
DISCIPLES.
Do you know that the Pharisees were offended by what you said?
JESUS.
Any plant, which my Father has not planted, will be pulled up it's roots. Leave them alone, they're blind leaders leading blind men. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch.
NARRATOR.
The disciples then questioned him about the parable and Peter asked him:
PETER.
Explain this parable to us.
JESUS.
Is it still that hard for you to understand now? Don't you comprehend that whatever enters a man's mouth from the outside cannot make a man unclean. It doesn't go into the heart, but into the stomach and then out into the toilet [thus making all food (meats) clean-MK]. But those things that come out of the mouth, come from and out of the heart, they make a man unclean. Because from within, out of the heart of men come evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, greed for more things, wickedness, deception, unrestrained immoral behavior, an eye looking for trouble, perjury, blasphemies against God, pride, and foolishness. These are the things that make a man unclean and they come from inside the man. But to eat food with unclean hands, that does not defile a man.

Matthew 15:10-20; Mark 7:14-23

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The Daughter of the Cananite Woman Healed

NARRATOR.
Jesus then went from that place and withdrew to the borders of Tyre and Sidon. There he entered a house, but did not want his presence there to be known. Nevertheless, his being there could not be hidden. A woman from Canaan who lived in that district had a young daughter who was possessed by a demon. When the woman heard that Jesus was there, she went to him and pleaded to have the demon cast out of her daughter. Coming to Jesus, she cried out:
WOMAN.
Sir, Son of David, have mercy on me, my daughter is possessed by a demon and is in great torment.
NARRATOR.
But Jesus didn't even say a word. His disciples came and said:
DISCIPLES.
Let her have what she's asking for, because she's shouting after us.
JESUS.
I have only been sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
NARRATOR.
The woman was a Greek and by nationality a Syrophoenician. She came to him, fell at his feet and worshipped him saying:
WOMAN.
Lord, help me!
JESUS.
The children should be fed first. It is not proper to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs of the house.
WOMAN.
Yes Lord, what you say is true. Yet even the dogs under their master's table eat the children's scraps that fall from the table.
JESUS.
Woman, you have great faith; let it be as you have requested. For saying what you have, go home, the demon has gone out of your daughter.
NARRATOR.
From that moment on, her daughter was well again. When the woman arrived at her house she found her daughter lying on the bed and the demon gone.

Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30

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The Deaf Man is Healed

NARRATOR.
Jesus went from there and left the borders of Tyre and went right through the region of the Decapolis by way of Sidon, heading towards the Sea of Galilee. They brought him a man who had a speech impediment and was deaf. They implored him to put his hand on him. Jesus took the man aside, away from the crowds and put his fingers in his ears and touched his tongue with his spittle. Looking up to heaven he sighed and said to the man: 'Ephphatha!' that is - 'be opened'. Immediately his ears were opened and the ligament of his tongue was loosened and the man was able to speak clearly. Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone, but the more he insisted, the more widely they published it. Their astonishment was beyond measure and said:
PEOPLE.
He has done all things well, he made both the deaf able to hear and the dumb able to speak.

Mark 7:31-37

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Jesus Cures the Crowds Near the Lake

NARRATOR.
He reached the shores of the Sea of Galilee and went up into the hills. As he sat there, large crowds came to him bringing those who were lame, blind, unable to speak, crippled and many others. They put them down at Jesus' feet and he cured them. The crowds were astonished when they saw those who couldn't speak, speaking; those who were crippled, made whole again; the lame walking and the blind, seeing; and the people praised the God of Israel.

Matthew 15:29-31

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The Second Miracle of the Loaves

NARRATOR.
Now the great crowd that had gathered during these days had nothing to eat. Jesus called his disciples to him and said to them:
JESUS.
I feel sorry for all these people, they've stayed with me for three days and don't have anything to eat. If I send them away to their homes hungry, they might collapse on the way. Some of them have traveled a great distance.
DISCIPLES.
Where can anyone get enough bread to feed all these people, here in this deserted place?
JESUS.
How many loaves do you have?
DISCIPLES.
Seven and a few small fish.
NARRATOR.
He instructed the crowd to sit down on the ground. He took the seven loaves, gave thanks, broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute and they distributed the bread among the people. The few small fish they had he also blessed and directed the disciples to distribute them also among the people. So all the people ate all they wanted and were filled. And they collected seven baskets of scraps that had been left over and eaten. Now there had been about 4,000 men that had eaten, to say nothing of the women and the children. Jesus sent them away, got into the boat with his disciples and came to the coasts of Magdala, the region of Dalmanutha.

Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-10

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The Pharisees Ask for a Sign

NARRATOR.
And it occurred that the Pharisees and the Sadducees came up to him. They began to question him and put him to a test, asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
JESUS.
When it's evening you say, 'It will be fair weather, because the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be a bad day today, because the sky is red and overcast.' Oh you hypocrites! You can read the face of the sky, but you can't read the signs of the times. [sighing deeply in his spirit] Why does this generation look for a sign? A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign. I tell you most sincerely, there will not be a sign given to this generation except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
NARRATOR.
And he left them, boarded the boat again and embarked for the other side.

Matthew 16:1-4; Mark 8:11-13

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The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

NARRATOR.
The disciples, having crossed to the other shore, had forgotten to take any food with them and had only one loaf in the boat with them. Jesus warned them and said:
JESUS.
Be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees and the yeast of Herod.
NARRATOR.
The disciples reasoned among themselves and said:
DISCIPLES.
It's because we didn't bring any bread.
JESUS.
Men of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about not having any bread. Don't you understand yet, don't you have any perception, are your hearts still hardened? You have eyes, can't you see and you have ears, can't you hear? Don't you understand yet or remember when I broke the five loaves among the five thousand? How many baskets of scraps did you take up?
DISCIPLES.
Twelve.
JESUS.
And when I broke the seven loaves among the four-thousand, how many baskets full of scraps did you take up?
DISCIPLES.
Seven.
JESUS.
How is it that you don't understand that when I spoke to you it was not concerning bread that you eat. What I said was that you should beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
NARRATOR.
They then understood that he was not warning them to be on guard against the yeast used in making bread, but against the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Matthew 16:5-12; Mark 8:14-21

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Cure of a Blind Man from Bethsaida

NARRATOR.
Jesus came to Bethsaida. There, some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch the man. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Jesus put his spittle on the man's eyes, put his hands on him and asked it he could see anything. The man looked up and said:
MAN.
I can see people, they look like trees, but they're walking around.
NARRATOR.
Jesus put his hands on the man's eyes again and his sight was restored. The man saw everyone clearly. He sent the man to his home saying:
JESUS.
Don't go into the village and do not tell anyone from the village about what happened.

Mark 8:22-26

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Jesus Acknowledges to be the Christ

NARRATOR.
Jesus and his disciples left and went into the villages in the area around Caesarea Philippi. In the course of their travels; Jesus, praying by himself in his disciples presence, asked them:
JESUS.
Who do the people say the Son of Man is? Who do the people say that I am?
DISCIPLES.
Some say that you're John the Baptist... Others Elijah... Some of them say that you're Jeremiah or one of the old prophets come back to life.
JESUS.
But who do you say that I am?
PETER.
The Christ of God, you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
JESUS.
Simon, son of Jonah, you are a blessed man. Because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father who is in Heaven. And I also say to you, you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (hell) will not be able to triumph over it. I will give to you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth, will be bound in Heaven. Whatever you loose on earth, will be loosed in Heaven.
NARRATOR.
He then gave his disciples strict orders not to tell anyone anything about this, that he was the Christ.

Matthew 16:13-20; Mark 8;27-30; Luke 9:18-21

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Carrying Your Own Cross

NARRATOR.
From that time on, Jesus began to reveal to his disciples that he must go into Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the Elders, Chief Priests and Scribes.
JESUS.
The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the Elders, Chief Priests and Scribes. He will be put to death and after three days, be raised again on the third day.
NARRATOR.
He spoke these things quite openly. Peter then took Jesus aside and started to present and urge reasons in opposition to what had been said:
PETER.
Heaven forbid it Lord! This won't happen to you.
NARRATOR.
But when Jesus turned around and saw his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said:
JESUS.
Get behind me Satin! You are an offence to me, because you are not entertaining the things that are of God, but those of men.
NARRATOR.
Then Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said:
JESUS.
If anyone wants to be my follower, let him renounce himself, take up his cross daily and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life, will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, will find it and the same will save it. What then will a man profit if he gains the whole world and ruins or loses his own life and himself. What would a man give in exchange for his life?
If anyone wants to be my follower, let him renounce himself, take up his cross daily and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life, will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, will find it and the same will save it. What then will a man profit if he gains the whole world and ruins or loses his own life and himself. What would a man give in exchange for his life?
For anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he will come in his glory and in the glory of the Father with the Holy angels. For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with His angels and will reward each person according to what they have done.
I will tell you a truth, I tell you most sincerely, that there are some standing here who will not taste of death until they have seen the Kingdom of God, coming with power and the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.

Matthew 16:21-28; Mark 8:31-38, 9:1; Luke 9:22-27

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