Memory verses for
this week: Phil 4:11 Not that I speak in
respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am,
therewith to be content.
last week’s lesson, we studied about the death of John the Baptist and
the miracles concerning the feeding of the over 5,000 men, women and
children with the five loaves and two fishes. We closed studying
about Peter and how he walked on the water when his eyes were fixed
upon Jesus Christ.
I. Christ Rebukes the Scribes and
Mat 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of
Mat 15:2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the
elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Mat 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also
transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
These scribes and Pharisees come out from Jerusalem to oppose
Christ. They charge that the disciples of Christ are not washing
their hands before they eat. The washing of hands before a meal was a
tradition of the Jews. They had many traditions concerning washings
of various things. So in reality, what they were being accused of
was breaking the ‘traditions’ of the fathers, not sinning against the
Lord. Jesus answers in verse 3 that these were transgressing the
commandment of God by their traditions. Unfortunately, many today are
guilty of respecting a tradition of a church more than the Word of
God. If you have a church ruled by some board (like committees or
deacon’s boards), you have made the traditions above God’s Word. The
pastor is placed as the leader of the church.
Acts 20:28 Take heed
therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the
Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which
he hath purchased with his own blood.
Heb 13:7 Remember
them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word
of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother:
and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
Mat 15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his
mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
Mat 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be
free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your
Jesus calls attention to one of the ten commandments as he
answers these accusers. They were guilty of breaking this commandment
by keeping the tradition of the elders. They were saying that they
had given a gift (something vowed to the Lord) rather than helping
their parents. This extra gift was beyond their tithe, and they did
it so they could skip helping their parents and have a good conscience
towards God. However, God knows the heart, and the reason we give.
To give an extra gift and think that exempts us from our duties to our
parents is wrong and does not honor God. By doing this, they had made
God’s commandment of none effect. Their gift was not accepted of the
Lord due to the condition of the heart.
Col 3:23 And
whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Col 3:24 Knowing
that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for
ye serve the Lord Christ.
Col 3:25 But he that
doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there
is no respect of persons.
J. Vernon McGee had a great comment concerning what the
Pharisees were doing.
Our Lord is saying that
honoring father and mother includes supporting them. The way they got
around that responsibility was to dedicate their money as a gift to
God, and that would relieve them of supporting their parents. This
gave a pious way out for a man to break the Mosaic Law.
I still believe the best
way to test a Christian is by his pocketbook. The barometer of the
Christian today is how he handles his own money and how he handles
God’s money. The religious rulers of Jesus’ day were helping men
escape their responsibility.
I am of the opinion that God wants you to pay your honest
debts before you give to Him. God wants you to take care of your
personal responsibilities. He wants you to support your family before
you give to Him. I once knew a man with a wild idea. This man came to
me on payday and wanted to give me half his income while his family
went hungry. When I found out, we had quite a little talk, and at
first he was offended. Finally, he saw that he was neglecting his own
family, which is a tragic thing to do. It is amazing how people try to
escape a responsibility in a pious way. .[i]
Mat 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and
honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines
the commandments of men.
Jesus cites a prophecy from the book of Isaiah when he says
“This people draweth night unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me
with their lips; but their heart is far from me”. It is sad that many
honor God only with their mouth but not with their heart. God does
not want us to be two sided and not continually honor him with our
total life. But it takes a real man or woman to continually live for
the Lord like we should. We can only do this by the Grace of the
Lord. These held their traditions higher than the pure doctrine of
Mat 15:10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear,
Mat 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but
that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Jesus declares to the multitude that it is that which comes
out of a man that defiles him. From the heart, we speak. And our
words will sure condemn us if we do not bridle our tongue and seek the
Lord in our daily walk.
Mat 15:12 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou
that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
Mat 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly
Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
Mat 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And
if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
The anger of the Pharisees is reported to Christ by the
disciples. Christ tells them to not worry about the attitude of the
Pharisees. They effectively were blind to the truths of God, and it
was the blind leading the blind. We should stand on the truth of the
bible, not in a mean or vicious way, but we should not back down from
the truths it proclaims. Far too many people (and pastors) want to
please men more than God. Our desire should be to honor our Heavenly
Father with our speech and our lives. And that means loving the
things God loves, and hating sin. (not the sinner… but the sin that
burdens them down.)
Adam Clarke in his commentary said this about verse 14.
And if the blind lead the blind—This
was so self-evident a case that an apter parallel could not be
found—if the blind lead the blind, both must fall into the ditch.
Alas, for the blind teachers, who not only destroy their own souls,
but those also of their flocks! Like priest, like people. If the
minister be ignorant, he cannot teach what he does not know; and the
people cannot become wise unto salvation under such a ministry—he is
ignorant and wicked, and they are profligate. They who even wish such
God speed; are partakers of their evil deeds. But shall not the poor
deceived people escape? No: both shall fall into the pit of perdition
together; for they should have searched the Scriptures, and not
trusted to the ignorant sayings of corrupt men, no matter of what sect
or party. He who has the Bible in his hand, or within his reach, and
can read it, has no excuse.
Mat 15:15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us
Mat 15:16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
Mat 15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at
the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come
forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders,
adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with
unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Peter desires to have this ‘parable’ explained. The master
at first rebukes Peter for his lack of spiritual perception, as this
teaching was straight and simple. But he does go into a greater
detail about it, and explains how that it is not the things we eat
that defile us, but the evil thoughts that proceed out of our heart.
God help us to keep our thoughts and minds pure.
Phil 4:8 Finally,
brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be
any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Phil 4:9 Those
things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen
in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
II. A Canaanite Girl
Mat 15:21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of
Tyre and Sidon.
Mat 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same
coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son
of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came
and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
This woman comes to Jesus and make her request known. She
wants God to show mercy on her daughter. We see that Jesus at first
does not answer her a word. This must have been very hard on the
woman, since her desire was pure and she had come to the only one who
could truly heal her. Sometimes when we pray, and don’t receive an
answer quickly, it is very unsettling. But God always answers in
Mat 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the
lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mat 15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Mat 15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the
children's bread, and cast it to dogs.
Mat 15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the
crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
Jesus declares that He has been sent to the nation of Israel
only. But she tries even harder, and in verse 25 says “Lord help
me.” Jesus declares that it is not right to take what rightfully
belonged to the Jews and to give it to the Gentiles. (Gentiles were
looked down on so negatively that they were referred to as dogs in
this day.) But the woman takes her place and begs for just a few
crumbs that might fall from the master’s table.
Matthew Henry said this about what Christ said to the woman.
Those whom Christ intends most signally to honour, he first
humbles and lays low in a sense of their own meanness and
unworthiness. We must first see ourselves to be as dogs, less than the
least of all God’s mercies, before we are fit to be dignified and
privileged with them. 2. Christ delights to exercise great faith with
great trials, and sometimes reserves the sharpest for the last, that,
being tried, we may come forth like gold. This general rule is
applicable to other cases for direction, though here used only for
trial. Special ordinances and church-privileges are children’s bread,
and must not be prostituted to the grossly ignorant and profane.
Common charity must be extended to all, but spiritual dignities are
appropriated to the household of faith; and therefore promiscuous
admission to them, without distinction, wastes the children’s bread,
and is the giving of that which is holy to the dogs, ch. 7:6.
Here is the strength of her faith and resolution, in breaking
through all these discouragements. Many a one, thus tried, would
either have sunk into silence, or broken out into passion. "Here is
cold comfort,’’ might she have said, "for a poor distressed creature;
as good for me to have staid at home, as come hither to be taunted at
and abused at this rate; not only to have a piteous case slighted, but
to be called a dog!’’ A proud, unhumbled heart would not have borne
it. The reputation of the house of Israel was not now so great in the
world, but that this slight put upon the Gentiles was capable of being
retorted, had the poor woman been so minded. It might have occasioned
a reflection upon Christ, and might have been a blemish upon his
reputation, as well as a shock to the good opinion, she had
entertained of him; for we re apt to judge of persons as we ourselves
find them; and think that they are what they are to us. "Is this the
Son of David?’’
(might she have said): "Is this he that has such a reputation for
kindness, tenderness, and compassion? I am sure I have no reason to
give him that character, for I was never treated so roughly in my
life; he might have done as much for me as for others; or, if not, he
needed not to have set me with the dogs of his flock. I am not a dog,
I am a woman, and an honest woman, and a woman in misery; and I am
sure it is not meet to call me a dog.’’ No, here is not a word of
this. Note, A humble, believing soul, that truly loves Christ, takes
every thing in good part that he saith and doeth, and puts the best
construction upon it.
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus
answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto
thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very
Jesus is moved by the woman’s great faith, and grants her
request and heals her daughter. I think we learn here that if we
don’t get an immediate answer to prayer, to keep on and be very
serious about it with God. We are promised if we pray feverently and
consistently, God will answer our prayers.
James 5:16 Confess
your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be
healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
III. The Multitudes
Mat 15:29 And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the
sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there.
Mat 15:30 And great multitudes came unto him, having with them
those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast
them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them:
Mat 15:31 Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the
dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind
to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
Jesus was always about doing the work of the Father. The
multitude bring others who are in need to Christ, and he healed
them. The lame were made to walk, the dumb could speak, and the
blind were able to see. All of this was done to honor the Heavenly
John 4:34 Jesus
saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to
finish his work.
IV. The 4,000 Fed
Mat 15:32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I
have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now
three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away
fasting, lest they faint in the way.
Mat 15:33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so
much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
Mat 15:34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And
they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
Mat 15:35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the
Mat 15:36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave
thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples
to the multitude.
Mat 15:37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up
of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
Mat 15:38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside
women and children.
Mat 15:39 And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came
into the coasts of Magdala.
Jesus had compassion on the multitude that continued with
him. Never think if you stay faithful to the work of the Lord that
He does not notice. God knows who are His, and He takes care for us
daily. They had only 7 loaves and a few fishes, but with the blessing
of the Lord, Jesus was able to feed the whole group with seven baskets
left over. Notice the procedure he used for distributing the food to
a. Christ took the loaves and blessed them.
b. The gave these to the disciples.
c. The disciples gave to the multitude.
Here is a lesson to us… this is the way the Gospel has been
given. Jesus died to set men free, and he gave the command to preach
to the church. We are to go out and to reach those who are lost that
they might hear and be saved.
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will be
Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible
commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System,
(Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s
Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.