Scribes and Pharisees visit Jesus. They censure him for eating with unwashed hands. He defends his acts and teaches a lesson on hypocrisy. Privately explains to the twelve his public teachings.
2 But when they learned that he and his disciples heeded not the custom of the Jews, regarding washing of the hands before they ate, they were amazed.
3 And Jesus said, Hypocrisy is queen among you scribes and Pharisees. On you Isaiah wrote:
4 These people honour me with lips; their hearts are far away. In vain they worship me; their doctrines are the dogmas and the creeds of men.
5 You men who pose as men of God, and still reject the laws of God and teach the laws of men,
6 Stand forth and tell when God gave unto the ceremonial laws that you observe; and tell these people how the spirit life is sullied if one washes not before he eats.
7 His critics answered not, and then he said,
8 Hear me, you men of Israel! Defilement is a creature of the heart. The carnal mind lays hold of thought, and makes a monstrous bride; this bride is sin; sin is a creature of the mind.
9 That which defiles a man is not the food he eats.
10 The bread and fish and other things we eat, are simply cups to carry to the cells of flesh material for the building of the human house, and when their work is done as refuse they are cast away.
11 The life of plant and flesh that goes to build the human house is never food for soul. The spirit does not feed upon the carcasses of animal, or plant.
12 God feeds the soul direct from heaven; the bread of life comes from above.
13 The air we breathe is charged with Holy Breath, and he who will may take this Holy Breath.
14 The soul discriminates, and he who wants the life of Christ may breathe it in. According to your faith so let it be.
15 Man is not a part of his abiding place; the house is not the man.
16 The lower world builds up the house of flesh, and keeps it in repair; the higher world provides the bread of spirit life.
17 The loveliest lilies grow from stagnant ponds and filthiest muck.
18 The law of flesh demands that one should keep the body clean.
19 The law of spirit call for purity in thought and word and deed.
20 Now, when the evening came and they were in the house, the twelve had many things to say, and many questions to propound.
21 Nathaniel asked, Was what you said about the house of flesh a parable? If so, what does it mean?
22 And Jesus said, Can you not yet discriminate? Do you not yet perceive that what a man takes in his mouth defiles him not?
23 His food goes not into his soul; it is material for flesh and bone and brawn.
24 To spirit everything is clean.
25 That which defiles a man wells up from carnal thoughts; and carnal thoughts spring from the heart, and generate a host of evil things.
26 From out the heart comes murders, thefts and foolishness. All selfish acts and sensual deeds spring from the heart.
27 To eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.
28 And Peter said, Lord, What you said to-day has grievously offended scribe and Pharisee.
29 And Jesus said, These scribes and Pharisees are not the scions of the tree of life; they are not plants of God; they are the plants of men, and every foreign plant shall be plucked up.
30 Let all these men alone; they are blind guides; they lead a multitude of people who are blind.
31 The leaders and the led together walk; together they will fall into the yawning pits.