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Matthew 15

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • May 16, In the year of our Lord, 2018

  1. Matthew 15.1–9 | Traditions of Men vs Commandments of God

    1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” 3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

    8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
    And honor Me with their lips,
    But their heart is far from Me.
    9 And in vain they worship Me,
    Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

    1. What did the tradition of the elders mean to the scribes and Pharisees?
      1. Could the tradition of the elders have started out good, but in time others elevated it higher than what the elders intended?
      2. Why did they wash their hands before eating bread?
    2. How did Jesus counter their argument?
      1. They had a tradition that they elevated above the commandment of God.
      2. What two things had God commanded?
        1. How had the scribes and Pharisees nullified the command?
        2. What does honoring your father and mother imply according to this context?
    3. How did the scribes and Pharisees worship the Lord in vain?
  2. Matthew 15.10–11 | What Defiles a Man

    10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”

    1. Why did Jesus make this declaration?
    2. What did it have to do with the context?
    3. What matters to Him more: Defilement of the body or of the spirit?
  3. Matthew 15.12–14 | Jesus Offended the Pharisees

    12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

    1. What part of His saying would have offended the Pharisees?
    2. What did the apostles want Jesus to do?
    3. Why did Jesus say to leave them alone?
  4. Matthew 15.15–20 | The Stomach vs The Mouth

    15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

    1. Why did Jesus question the apostles on their lack of understanding?
    2. To Jesus it was simple:
      1. What enters the mouth the body eliminates.
      2. What comes out of the mouth shows the condition of the heart.
  5. Matthew 15.21–28 | For Israel and for Canaanites

    21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 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.” 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.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 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.

    1. What did this woman recognize about Jesus?
      1. He was the Son of David.
      2. He could cast demons out of people.
    2. Why did Jesus not answer her?
    3. What did she do when He did not answer her?
    4. How did this woman show great faith?
  6. Matthew 15.29–31 | Glorifying God

    29 Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. 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.

    1. What did these people do when Jesus healed those with problems?
    2. Should we glorify God when we are made well?
  7. VII.Matthew 15.32–39 | Another Miraculous Feeding

    32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself 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.” 33 Then His disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?” 34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few little fish.” 35 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. 37 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. 38 Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala.

    1. How did these people follow Jesus for three days?
      1. Where did they sleep?
      2. What were they expecting?
    2. What do you think about the compassion of Jesus in feeding this multitude?
      1. What other ways do you see His compassion shown to the world today?
      2. See Psalm 37.25
    3. Had the disciples already forgotten how He fed the 5,000? (Matt 14)
      1. Israel forgot the Lord and His providence frequently.
      2. Do we do better today?
    4. Why is giving thanks for food important?
      1. See First Timothy 4.1–5
      2. If we fail to give thanks, do we not show that we have forgotten just as the disciples did and as Israel did?
    5. In chapter 16, Matthew will show what Jesus expected the disciples to learn from the feeding of these two large groups of people.