Gospel of Matthew

Compiled by WD Kemner January 2024




CHAPTER 15 – Traditions



Matthew Chapter 15 verses 1-2

Parallel Passages: Mark 7:1-23



Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.




This came from Pharisees who were from Jerusalem.  Therefore, a person would think this group was wiser than the others.  With rank, vanity sets in. Once again in an attempt to find fault they address “tradition” with Jesus, they did not address the disciples, but Jesus directly.


They found disciples guilty of not washing their hands.  This seems silly and small to us today. There was a strict belief that you MUST wash before eating because you were touching the “unclean”.



Matthew Chapter 15 verses 3-6

Parallel Passages: Mark 7:1-23



But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.


But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 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 fires back with his own discourse on the Pharisees for not keeping the command of God by their tradition.  A tradition that allowed them to avoid the command to honor father and mother.



When a parents’ needs required assistance, the Pharisee could avoid providing it, because the assistance was given as a “gift” to the temple.  All “gifts” took precedence over basic needs. They could get out of having to help their parents easily.




Matthew Chapter 15 verses 7-9

Parallel Passages: Mark 7:1-23



Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.




Jesus quotes Isaiah 29:13. Isaiah was talking about Hypocrites. Jesus applied it for those in His day too but these experts in the words of the prophets would not have considered it as applying to them.



Matthew Chapter 15 verses 10-11

Parallel Passages: Mark 7:1-23



And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.




Jesus said “…Hear and Understand…”.  What good is hearing if we do not understand what we hear? What goes into our mouth does not make us unclean; but what comes out of it!  Are the disciples beginning to “listen”?  They would later deal with the mouth and tongue a lot in their writings.


Peter will learn about the “unclean” meat in Acts 10. James will write regarding the use of the tongue. But at this point, they apparently did not understand as we will see in a few verses.



Matthew Chapter 15 verses 12-20

Parallel Passages: Mark 7:1-23



Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind.


And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.


And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.


For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.




His admonition to let the “…blind lead the blind…” causes confusion and Jesus had to “clarify” further.



Healing the Gentile woman’s daughter




Matthew Chapter 15 verses 21-23




Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 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. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.




Jesus travels to coasts of Tyre and Sidon.  Once again appears to be traveling specifically to an area for a specific event to occur and then leaves. A woman of Canaan (a Gentile) comes wanting Jesus to heal her daughter.




Matthew Chapter 15 verses 24-28

Parallel Passages: Mark 7:24-30



But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.


And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 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.





Jesus says he was sent for the children of Israel. Not for the Gentiles. However, he travelled distinctly to heal her. She is persistent and he tells her it is her great faith and her daughter is whole that very hour.



Feeding 4000 people



Matthew Chapter 15 verses 29-39

Parallel Passages: Mark 7:31-8:9



And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. 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: 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.


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. And his disciples say unto him,


Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude? And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.


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. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.




Jesus returns to Galilee healing many.  Once again, the crowd gets large and hungry. Did the disciples not learn anything when he fed 5000 earlier? He feeds 4000 men plus women and children with seven loaves and fish. Seven baskets full were left over. As in the feeding earlier of the 5000, the women and children are not counted in the number. For the second time he feeds the crowds!