Matthew Chapter 15
"Teaching, Opposition of the Pharisees; Miracles."
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org/plough.htm
Matthew 15:1 "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,"
Matthew 15:2 "Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread."
What is disturbing to these scribes and Pharisees is that Jesus' disciples did not follow the "traditions of the elders", the traditions of men. This washing ritual was not just a matter of getting your hands clean before you pick up your bread, but it was a created ritual that these elders made up, and attached God's name to the form of it. The ritual was not given by God, or any of the prophets of God.
It came into being by these Kenite infested orders of the Pharisees that took over the temple after the captivity of Babylon. It was not a matter of using soap and water, but going through a sprinkling of water in each direction, and holding the hands in the proper position, and going through this very religious ceremony, being sure to show those around you just how religious you were. These Kenites created the traditions that the church was to follow, only Christ's disciples simply did not follow the vain traditions that were not of God.
Following man's traditions is one of the quickest ways to go to hell, when you set aside the Word of God, and follow the religious ways that man creates. God has given us the only way to follow, any other way, is a path to destruction.
Matthew 15:3 "But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"
In this lesson that Jesus is going to give these scribes and Pharisees, there will be four parts, so lets pick up on all of them.
The first part Jesus addresses the scribes from Jerusalem; keep focused on that point. Friend, do you need any other proof that there is a conflict between the traditions of the elders [men], and the traditions of God? Many of the traditions in the churches of today, are not of God, nor is their foundation in the Scripture. They are originated by the church boards, and developed through the twisting of the Word, in many cases.
The deacons, elders and scribes [ministers] will not judge you, it is God that will do the judging, and it is God that can claim your soul.
Matthew 15:4 "For God commanded, saying, 'Honor thy father and mother:' and 'He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.'
The death that Jesus is talking about here is the death of the soul. Jesus is about to give these scribes a little lesson in law, in that they brought it up. This comes from Exodus 20:12; "Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee."
The other part of the law that Jesus is using comes from Exodus 21:17; "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."
Matthew 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;'"
Jesus is pointing out what the elders say, that is contrary to the law of God.
"It is a gift", they say a set aside, or sacrifice for God. So what Jesus is pointing out, is that these elders have set up tradition, that if the children give all their money to the elders [God], then that releases them of the obligation of caring for their parents in their old age. There were crooked priests, who say, that for the right price, they will declare something "corban", which means "of God". They would declare the item or money a gift, and allow the giver to use it for their own personal use.
Matthew 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 tradition."
Jesus is saying that if you listen to these hypocrite priests, and follow the traditions of these elders, you have violated the commandment of God, by your actions. There are many today that call themselves "ministers of God" and they tell you that if you give your wealth to them, you are released from taking care of your mother and father. Jesus is calling them a liar. He is saying they are making the commandments of God, of no effect, by their actions.
Matthew 15:7 "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,"
Jesus is going to give these hypocrite Kenite scribes and Pharisees another Bible lesson in the law. This one is found in Isaiah 29:13; "Wherefore the Lord said, "Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:"
Matthew 15:8 "'This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me."
Jesus is saying that these elders [ministers] speak so religiously of God with their mouths, and lips, but their hears, their minds, and are far from what the Word of God actually says. Their hearts are as hard as a rock, as far as showing any love to God.
Matthew 15:9 "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.' "
They do not teach the commandments of God, but they modify those words, and create commandments of men. Those commandments are called traditions of men. Those teachings are ways and things that are not in the Word of God, and God is against them. They take these commandments, and turn them into doctrines.
Jesus now is connecting the feedings of the multitude, to the doctrines, which is the true food for the Spirit which is the Word of God. The body of Christ is the true "Bread of Life", and aside from that there is no life of value.
This is Jesus message to the scribes.
Matthew 15:10 "And He called the multitude, and said unto them, "Hear, and understand:"
This is the second group of people, the multitudes which is all the people. It is all kindred's and tongues, and races. Jesus is telling these people do not only hear what I am going to say, but absorb they absorb it in their minds.
Matthew 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 is not talking about the health laws here, for they are not done away with. If you eat things that are not fit for the body, and contain large amounts of poisons, then your body and your health will suffer for it. It has nothing to do with sin, and the death of your soul. However Jesus is talking about the biggest sin that can be committed, the sin which can cause the death of your soul.
It is what is in your heart and mind, the spiritual food of the teaching of Christ that matters, and gives the life that matters, eternal life; rather then the food that you place in your mouth for nourishment.
Matthew 15:12 "Then came his disciples, and said unto him, knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?"
Do you think that Jesus felt bad about that? Of course not; those hypocrites needed it. This is now the third address that Jesus will make, and it is to His own disciples. This part is addressed to you as a follower of Christ.
Matthew 15:13 "But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up."
Remember that this is His disciples that are to be disciplining themselves in His teaching.
Matthew 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."
Remember back in the thirteenth chapter, where Jesus said, If you do not understand this one parable, then you will not understand any of my parables." What was that parable about? That parable was the parable of the sower. God was the one that planted the good seed. Satan the devil planted the evil seed, and Jesus warned of these offspring of the devil, the tares, or Kenites that would mix in with the tribe of Judah, and the House of Israel.
They would bring in traditions that would be harmful to the true Word of God. The disciples asked Jesus to explain this parable about the blind leading the blind, and Jesus will not, nor will He explain it to you. He gave you the key to the understanding early, and He wants His disciples to start using their brains, and putting teaching and common sense together.
Remember what Jesus said of the tares in Matthew 13:29? "But he said, nay lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them" Jesus said let the tares grow and leave them alone, my angels will do the dividing. He is telling you that these tares of the field, the world, and the blind Kenites spoken of here. And those that follow these offspring of Satan [the blind leaders] will go right into the pit along with the rest of the Kenites.
It is important for us to back to Matthew 13 and lock in on the first parable, and then watch out for wicked doctrines. Watch out for doctrines that are the traditions of men that make void the Word of God. Don't bother the tares, but be wiser then they are. Leave the Kenites alone, they are the negative part of God's plan, and those that have not studied, and know God's plan, is to allow the blind that are following the blind leaders, t go right into the pit.
Were the disciples listening to Christ in Matthew 13:37-49? They said "Yea, Lord."; but their actions tell us they never understood. These disciples came to Christ in apologies for what Jesus said, and told Jesus, you hurt the scribes and Pharisees feelings?
These Kenites were stealing from the poor and taking from the widows and orphans, and now we are to feel sorry that their feelings are hurt? What did you expect Christ was going to say to them. Not only did He offend them, but they offended Jesus, and his disciples even more.
This applies to us even today, are we keeping our attention on what Christ is saying, and can we apply those teachings in our lives? How are you judging the world of the so-called righteous? When they give their righteous sounding words out of their mouth and lips, can you tell if it is of God, or the traditions of men. This is what Jesus is trying to teach His disciples.
Now go back to the thirteenth verse, "Every plant, which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." Why should I worry about offending them, they are offensive? However, Jesus is now going to give an example, of how that offensive one can be changed. How that if these Kenites will believe upon Christ, they also will have eternal life.
Matthew 15:15 "Then answered Peter and said unto Him, "Declare unto us this parable."
Now this is the fourth part that we must pay attention to. Jesus is addressing Peter, that will establish the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia, that continue on to this day. They are the churches that teach the true Word of God.
Peter asked Jesus to explain the parable, but Jesus will not. This is a teaching that Jesus has already explained, however Jesus will explain a little more of the parable of verse eleven. Those parables of thirteen and fourteen are the ones that if you don't understand them, you will not understand any of them. This is why it is important, that if you don't understand them, go back to chapter thirteen and review, until you get it. It is the key.
Matthew 15:16 "And Jesus said, "Are ye also yet without understanding?"
Peter, of all the disciples, still is demonstrating his lack of understanding of the Kenites, and the tares of the world.
Matthew 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?"
Jesus is asking Peter, what do you care what you eat and what goes into your mouth. It doesn't matter if it is five loaves to five thousand, or seven loaves to four thousand. It is not what is in your belly that counts, but what is in your mind; wake up Peter. Watch out for the false doctrines. Watch out for the traditions of men, for they will warp your spirit. That is what He is saying.
Matthew 15:18 "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man."
When a man talks, he places his own sentence on his head. A man lives his own sentence; and that that you sow, that is what you shall reap. If you sow wickedness, you shall reap wickedness, and God will see to it that it shall happen.
Matthew 15:19 "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, theft, false witness, and blasphemies:"
Matthew 15:20 "These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."
Jesus is now going to walk a great distance, to touch a man, that I believe to be a Kenite, to explain verse thirteen. That is to say that if a plant sown by Satan believes on the blood of Jesus Christ, they shall also be saved, and have blessings.
Matthew 15:21 "Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon."
Tyre and Sidon are commerce centers, and Satan, and Kenite strongholds. Satan is even named after Tyrus in Ezekiel 28. Jesus walked fifty miles direct, just to talk to this woman. It is important to see what Jesus says and does, because He will go right back to where He just left.
Matthew 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."
This woman had no reason to know that Jesus was the Son of David, except that she also was possessed. The devil had to be the one that did the identification. Remember the many demons that identified Jesus as the "Son of God", in Matthew 8:29. The demons, or devils know exactly who they are, and who Jesus is, even those humans around them do not. Even though the devils in her knew, she believed Jesus was the Messiah. She is showing faith.
Matthew 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."
Jesus would not even talk to her. The disciples saw Christ reaction, and tried to send this woman away.
Matthew 15:24 "But He answered and said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Jesus is saying, my blessings are not for the Kenites, but only for the "lost sheep of the House of Israel". To take this to the next step of understanding; Jesus is saying, My father did not plant you; in reference to verse thirteen.
Matthew 15:25 "Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, "Lord, help me."
Matthew 15:26 "But He answered and said, "It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs."
What is the subject of this whole chapter, "Bread"; five loaves, seven loaves, what goes in or out doesn't matter. What matters is the bread of life, Jesus Christ, the Word of God. It is not right, or virtuous to take what is intended for the children of God, and give to the dogs. The dogs in the form Jesus used, was in reference to Gentiles, yet this woman of Canaan applied it to the animal.
Jesus is trying to relate to His disciples, and you if you claim the name of Christ, that by the law, He was not sent to the Gentiles. He was sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, all thirteen tribes, if you count Joseph as two. Here even a Kenite shows more faith, then those that were invited to the table of the Lord.
Matthew 15:27 "And she said, "Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
The woman was saying here, even a puppy has some rights at the masters' table, if they love you.
Matthew 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 hour."
Notice that Jesus didn't call her a dog this time, He say her faith and said; "O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt." Did you notice that there is a condition here, "even as thou wilt". As strong as your faith is, and we see the strength of this woman, as her daughter was made whole that very hour. Her daughter was no longer possessed, and this woman is now a daughter of the living God, by adoption through Jesus Christ.
Matthew 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."
Jesus healed the woman, and turned around and headed right back from where He had left. Jesus walked one hundred miles to give you the privilege of learning this one lesson. This is why you don't disturb the tares, because there are some that will seek God, and who will be adopted into the family of Christ, and that is for God to know, and for you not to interfere with.
It is not what goes into the mouth, in this group of four teachings, but what comes out of the mouth. The bread of life, which is the body of Christ is what is important.
Remember, Jesus addressed the scribes from Jerusalem, then He addressed the multitudes, then He addressed the disciples, and finally He addressed Peter. The purpose is that you would not forget the parable of the sower. The tares are the Kenites, the offspring of Satan, and they would even work themselves into your church [multitude], to steer you away from the bread of Life, Jesus Christ and into the teaching of the elders, which is to say the traditions of men.
They are self-righteous hypocrites, that like to play God, and show off their knowledge. Their wisdom is not God's wisdom. Rather then say yes and no, they give an opinion. And their teaching is not the teachings of the laws of God, but the traditions they have created, that are of men.
The multitude was the races of all mankind, Christ was telling them that if they would believe He would save them.
The teachings to the disciples, was the equivalent to the elect of today. The teachings to these disciples was that "every plant that my Father had not planted shall be rooted up". He would not explain this, for they were to figure it out for themselves by the parables of the sower, and tares.
The last one to be addressed was Peter, who was given the assignment to directed to the church, and provide the teaching that Jesus has taught them.
Matthew 15:30 "And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many other, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and He healed them:"
The greatest handicap to man of this earth age, is to be blind to the truth of God's Word.
Matthew 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."
When Jesus healed these people, the greatest of the healing was when their spiritual eyes were open, and they saw and glorified the true God of Israel.
Matthew 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."
When Christ has compassion on you, it will be because you loved Him. These people were healed, and then they stayed to hear what Jesus had to say. They were drawn to Jesus, and now Jesus saw their physical needs, and wanted to fill both their physical and their spiritual needs. When you go your way, you will not faint if you are in the will of God, for He will provide that strength that you need.
If you have tried something, and it continually goes up a dead end street, stop and consider if you are in the will of God, or is He trying to head you in another direction. God has compassion on His own, and He does not want you a failure.
Matthew 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?"
Matthew 15:34 "And Jesus saith unto them, "How many loaves have ye?" And they said, "Seven, and a few little fishes."
Matthew 15:35 "And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground."
They sat in groups.
Matthew 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."
Keep in mind that Jesus had His disciples feed the multitude with the bread. The lesson here is that the disciples are given the bread, the bread of life, which is Christ body. The Word is given to you, and you are to feed the multitudes. Get it?
Matthew 15:37 "And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full."
Jesus took the bread and blessed it and it expanded, as it was broken to fill the needs of the multitude. This supernatural thing also applies to the spiritual bread that is taken, and broken, or placed in your mind, and as you give it forth to others the Holy Spirit will make the Word multiply in the minds of hearer. God's parables are simple, for He does things in a natural way. He is also supernatural, like when He takes things that are natural, and increases them in an unnatural way. When problems look like they are impossible, we can turn them over to Christ, and in a natural way, the impossible gets done.
Matthew 15:38 "And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children."
There could have been well over ten thousand individuals total here.
Matthew 15:39 "And He sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala."
So we see here again where Jesus took a few loaves of bread, and a few fishes, and fed thousands of men and women. This is the second time and a double witness of the thing that we must be concerned about. There will be many that come and give teachings, and say that they were sent of God. Jesus is trying to teach His disciples how to tell the difference between the fakes, and the true men and women of God.
Jesus is trying to give you an understanding of how His true disciples feed. If it is a true ministry, then Christ will bless it before the father, and the disciples will give it to the multitude. So the next thing to ask is, what do they feed to the multitude?
They will feed them only that which came from Christ, that is blessed of God, and and came from the Word of God to the disciples or teachers of Christ. They will feed no traditions of man, and doctrines generated from the board room, or council chambers taught, and enforced on you the elders that go against the Scriptures. That teaching had better be taken from the Holy Scriptures, and enlarged in the hearts of the listener by the Holy Spirit of God.
When it becomes obvious that a church system doctrine takes priority over what is clearly taught in the Bible, then that ministry is not of God. Anytime a church officer lays his hand on a gifted teacher to prevent the teaching the truth of God's Word, it is not right, and he is out of place before almighty God, and will account personally for his actions.
If you can not teach the Word in the place you are in, it is time to move on, shake the dust off your feet, and leave the place to be judged with Sodom and the Sodomites at judgment day. Thank God some of the ministers are starting to wake up, and go back to the Scripture, and give out the entire Word of God.
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