Matthew – Chapter 15

Debate Over Tradition

Verse 1 – Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying,

Verse 2 – “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”

Ever since the Jews returned from Babylon captivity, they had added hundreds of laws and traditions to God’s law. God’s principles never change, and His law doesn’t need any additions. Traditions are fine, but don’t make them a law that you expect everyone else to follow as if God wrote it in stone.

Verse 3 – But He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?

The authority of scripture trumps all man-kind traditions. Jesus’ disciples were not bound to obey tradition.

Verse 4 – “For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and mother; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’

Verse 5 – “But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me has been dedicated to the temple” –

Verse 6 – ‘is released from honoring his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.

Jewish law required sons to care for their aging parents. However, corrupt priests allowed sons who were tired of caring for their parents to take a vow of “Corban,” offering. That is: Making a gift to the temple, which otherwise would have gone to taking care of the parents. Corban had become an excepted way to neglect their parents. So now, they were ignoring God’s commandment to honor their parents.

Verse 7 – “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying,

Verse 8 – ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

Verse 9 – And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” (Isaiah 29:13)

When we claim to follow and honor God while our hearts are far from Him, it means nothing! Our actions and our attitudes must be sincere. Only God has the right to declare what is to be done in worship, but they held tradition to be superior to the written word of God, and taught it as doctrines.

Churches still do this today. “You shall not;” wear pants, but only long dresses; a woman shall not cut her hair; there will not be any musical instruments in the house of God; no jewelry; no makeup; and on and on! This is just stupid!

Verse 10 – Then He called the multitude and said to them, “Hear and understand:

Verse 11 – “Not what goes in the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

The true defilement was in the heart. Hateful speech comes from an evil heart.

Verse 12 – Then the disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”

Verse 13 – But He answered an said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.

Verse 14 – “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. and if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

The Pharisees were blind to the truth. Make sure those you listen to have scripture spiritual eyesight.

Verse 15 – Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”

Verse 16 – So Jesus said, “Are yo also still without understanding?

Verse 17 – “Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?

Verse 18 – “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and then they defile a man.

What are we like on the inside? Do others see what’s in our hearts by what comes out of our mouths? We change our hearts from evil to good by renewing our minds daily with God’s Word.

Verse 19 – “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication’s, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

Verse 20 – “These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

I bet the Pharisees were sorry they ever opened their mouths! A truly transformed heart will diminish a love for sin!

Jesus Heals the Gentile Woman’s Daughter

Verse 21 – Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.

Verse 22 – And behold a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed”

In ancient times, the whole region of Tyre and Sidon, were in the possession of the Canaanites and called Canaan. This woman was a Gentile living under the Greek government. However, she knew who Jesus was, “The Son of David,” the Messiah.

Verse 23 – But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”

Verse 24 – But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Jesus was, after all, in Gentile territory, so why wouldn’t He answer her? Jews were to have the opportunity first to accept the Messiah because they were the ones to present the message of the gospel to the rest of the world. He was showing another example of faith that could come from even a Gentile.

Verse 25 – Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord help me!”

Verse 26 – But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

Verse 27 – And she said, “True, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.”

Verse 28 – Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Dog was the term the Jews applied to the Gentiles because the Jews considered them pagan people no more likely to receive God’s blessing than dogs were. The woman didn’t argue that she was not a dog. Along the way of Jesus teachings, this woman had heard and believed that Jesus was the Son of God. She also knew He was to be worshiped and reverend. She had picked up the crumbs along the way of Jesus teachings. Jesus knew that and therefore showed the Jews that Gentiles can have faith in Him also.

Verse 29 – And Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there.

Verse 30 – Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them those who were lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus feet, and He healed them.

Verse 31 – So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they glorified the God of Israel.

These people showed great faith, by just coming to Jesus. They knew He could heal the sick. I wonder where all the sick that He healed were when He was crucified? I’ve seen this too many times when people get what they prayed for. They get healed, they get the house they prayed for, or the relationship is mended, then they forget God because they don’t need God anymore. I’ve also seen what happens to them after they forget who gave them the blessing – it’s not good!

Verse 32 – Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

This is amazing that these people would travel so far to where Jesus was and then not leave because of His healing and teaching to get something to eat. There are people today that won’t go a block or miss one meal to receive healing from the “Great Physician!”

Verse 33 – Then His disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?

The disciples had already seen Jesus feed 5,000, so why were they so perplexed? We often forget that God has cared and delivered us in our past, and He will do the same again. Don’t lose sight of the fact that, “No matter the circumstance God only wants the best for us!” He’s faithful, all the time.

Verse 34 – Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few little fish.”

And another lesson – don’t disregard what little you start with because when given to the Master, it will multiply!

Verse 35 – And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.

Verse 36 – And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude.

Verse 37 – So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of fragments that were left.

Verse 38 – Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.

Verse 39 – And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala.

Always be thankful and grateful to what has been given. He’s a good God that will see to provision if we persevere. In His presence is where we have peace of knowing that He works all things out for good for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).






This entry was posted in Matthew.

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