The Book of Matthew-Chapter 15

(1) Then some Pharisees and scribes (we know they were from the School of Shammai because of what they believe here. The School of Hillel, another school of Pharisees, said handwashing was only done at festive meals. This tradition developed because the priesthood was corrupt and the sages predating Yeshua brought some of the Temple rituals home, like hand washing, because the people were told they were “priests” in their own homes, and they became part of the purity laws) came to Yeshua from Jerusalem, saying, ” (2) Why do your talmidim transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread (there were many reasons why the Pharisees believed that hands needed to be washed before eating. They believed if you didn’t, the food you ate was unclean, and this is not found in the Torah. Yeshua will show that this ritual is not from God and it invalidated the commandment about clean food, which cannot be defiled if you didn’t wash your hands according to the ritual of the School of Shammai. Their ritual was man-made, and by making it a “heavy” transgression they undermined the authority of the Torah).” (3) And he answered and said to them, “And why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition (The Mishnah, in Sanhedrin 11.3, said that “greater stringency applies to the words of the scribes than to the observance of the written law.” Yeshua is going to deal with this)? (4) For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.’ (5) But you say (through their oral laws), ‘Whoever shall say to his father or mother, “Anything of mine you might have been helped by has been given (as an offering) (6) he is not to honor his father or his mother?’ And you invalidate the word of God for the sake of your tradition (we do not need experts trained in the oral law to explain the written. His word is clear. each generation was to follow the written Torah, seeking the original intent of the instruction). (7) You hypocrites (actors), rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, (8) ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (9) But in vain (useless) do they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men (this is still the case today. Some say they believe in God but believe that the Torah has been done away with. What replaces it? The traditions of men. Now, there is nothing wrong with traditional biblical concepts, Paul kept some tradition-1 Cor 11.1-2. However, if they do not guide us and teach us about the truth found in the scripture, then doing them is vain. And you do not gain righteousness with God by doing them. The oral law “filled in the spaces” between the words of the written Torah the rabbis said. And when all was said and done, the rabbis, Pharisees, scribes and others preferred the oral law over the written. They made more and more “fences” around the written law so that people wouldn’t transgress it, that the written law was forgotten somewhat. Yeshua did not give “zero” weight to tradition, but what he insists on is that man made traditions should not be used to invalidate the Word of God).’ (10) And he called to himself the multitude and said to them, “Hear and understand (this is the same thing as saying “he who has an ear, let him hear”). (11) Not what enters into the mouth defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man (this verse is often misinterpreted to say that you can eat unclean foods, but Yeshua is saying that if you eat clean food without washing your hands according to the traditions of the elders, it is still clean and you are not defiled. Unclean foods would not have been eaten anyway so they are not a part of this instruction).” (12) Then the talmidim came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees (of the school of Shammai, not all Pharisees) were offended when they heard this statement?” (13) But he answered and said, “Every plant (teachings/fruit) which my heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up (their teachings were planted by the enemy and will be uprooted-Matt 3.10; Matt 13.1-30). (14) Let them alone (don’t let their teachings bother you); they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (15) And Peter answered and said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” (16) And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? (17) Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is eliminated (into the toilet, thus purging all foods). (18) But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart (the heart is the fountain of all corruption. It is what comes out which is the problem, not what goes in), and those defile the man (“defile” here in Greek is “koinoo” which means common, profane, not “akathartos” which is unclean in a levitical, ceremonial sense. Lev 11 (the food laws) made one “unclean” not profane, which the sins of the heart do). (19) For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, muders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. (20) These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands (contrary to the tradition of the elders) does not defile the man (it was their traditions. Again, eating biblically allowed food with unwashed hands does not defile you or make the food unclean).” (21) And Yeshua went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. (22) And behold, a Canaanite woman came out from that region, and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David (a messianic title); my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” (23) But he did not answer her a word (He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel first, but he did not hinder the lost sheep from among the Gentiles to come to him). And his talmidim came to him and kept asking him, saying, “Send her away, for she is shouting out after us (he was leaving).” (24) But he answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (25) But she came and began to bow down before him, saying, “Lord, help me!” (26) And he answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread (in this case healing) and throw it to dogs (Hebrew “kelev”-which was a derogatory name for Gentiles).” (27) But she said, “Yes, Lord; but the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.” (28) Then Yeshua answered and said to her, “O woman, your faith is great, be it done to you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once (Yeshua only marveled at two things; faith and unbelief). (29) And departing from there (Tyre and Sidon), Yeshua went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up to the mountain, he was sitting there. (30) And a great multitude came to him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, dumb, and many others, and they laid them down at his feet (to ease themselves of the burden and expecting him to heal them); and he healed them, (31) so that the multitude marveled as they saw the dumb speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing, and they glorified the God of Israel (these were signs that the gospel was being preached and the kingdom was being offered. (32) And Yeshua summoned to himself his talmidim (they were not close by), and said, “I feel compassion for the multitude, because they have remained with me for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not wish to send them away hungry, lest they faint along the way (on their way home. Some today would not say anything like this for fear of a “bad confession”)).” (33) And the talmidim said to him, “Where would we get so many loaves in a desert place to satisfy such a great multitude (they forgot Matt 14.19-20).” (34) And Yeshua said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” (35) And he directed the multitude to sit down on the ground; (36) and he took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks (he most likely said the common blessing when eating bread, which is, “Blessed are you, O lord, our God, king of the universe who brings forth bread from the earth”), he broke them and started giving them to the talmidim in turn, to the multitudes. (37) And they all ate, and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven (the number of completion) large baskets full (remember last time, there were twelve baskets. Yeshua is the “bread of life” and is the Word of God, his teaching (the twelve baskets) is complete (the seven baskets) and we are satisfied). (38) And those who ate were four thousand men (Yeshua came around the year 4000 to give the “bread of heaven”), besides women and children. (39) And dismissing the multitudes, he got into a boat, and came to the region of Magdala.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Understanding the New Testament, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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