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Chapter 15

Matthew 15 Commentary

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Matthew 15:1-9 meaning

The Pharisees return to attack Jesus with a loaded question. Jesus flips the question on its head and demonstrates through an example and a prophecy how the Pharisees think more of their traditions than they do the law of God or their parents.

Matthew 15:10-11 meaning

Jesus summons the crowd to Him and addresses the Pharisees’ charge against His disciples with a proverb. It teaches that it is the inner harmony from the heart that demonstrates a man’s holiness, rather than external rituals which are for show.

Matthew 15:12-14 meaning

The disciples express a concern to Jesus that He is insulting the Pharisees. Beneath their concern is that these insults will alienate Jesus from the cultural powerbrokers and hinder His mission and/or the disciples’ future status. Jesus responds to their concern with two metaphors and a piece of advice.

Matthew 15:15-20 meaning

Peter asks Jesus to explain what He meant when He told the crowd "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." Apparently this thought challenged Peter's assumptions of wickedness and righteousness. Jesus corrects Peter's wrong assumption by explaining how wickedness is primarily an issue stemming from the heart.

Matthew 15:21-28 meaning

Jesus travels to the Gentile province of Tyre. A Canaanite woman begs Him to heal her daughter. At first Jesus refuses, because He was sent to Israel. But as the woman persists in her great faith, Jesus grants her request.

Matthew 15:29-31 meaning

Jesus relocates from Tyre to the Decapolis. Crowds of Gentiles come to Him on a remote hillside, bringing this sick and lame to be healed. Jesus heals them and they glorify the God of Israel.

Matthew 15:32-39 meaning

Jesus miraculously feeds a multitude of 4,000 Gentile men plus women and children. He then leaves to return to home district across the Sea of Galilee.