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Matthew 15 OT Texts

Posted by adventbiblestudy on May 21, 2013


Matthew 15:3-4 NLTse Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? (4) For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,‘ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’

 

When asked about tradition, Jesus answer contained the word and. The word, “and” confirms Jesus quoted two texts. Reviewing these two texts reveals all the details Jesus is referring to.

 

Exodus 20:12 NLTse “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

 

Exodus 21:17 NLTse “Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death.

 

Looking at the two scriptures we see Jesus intentionally combined these two to teach a specific lesson. First Jesus points to the ten commandments, God’s unchangeable law. Jesus also pointed out a further explanation God provided through His prophet Moses. Jesus clearly explained, every explanation we need is already in His written Word. Using scripture, Jesus told the religious leaders, there was never any reason to add man made explanations we know as doctrines and traditions.

 

Matthew 15:6-9 NLTse In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. (7) You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, (8) ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (9) Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.'”

 

This is such an important point, Jesus quoted a third scripture adding more details to His explanation.

 

Isaiah 29:13-16 NLTse And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learnedby rote. (14) Because of this, I will once again astound these hypocrites with amazing wonders. The wisdom of the wise will pass away, and the intelligence of the intelligent will disappear.” (15) What sorrow awaits those who try to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their evil deeds in the dark! “The LORD can’t see us,” they say. “He doesn’t know what’s going on!” (16) How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me“? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?

 

Using scripture, Jesus explains why men make up traditions. They don’t think God cares. They think they are smarter than the Creator. They really do not believe God is the Creator. Then they claim to be religious leaders. But they are not leaders sent by God. “‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the LORD,” when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies? These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness, for they have rejected the word of the LORD. Are they so wise after all? (Jeremiah 8:8-9 NLTse).

 

God knows exactly what is happening. He clearly listed responsibilities for religious leaders, repeating them often.

 

Malachi 2:5-11 NLTse “The purpose of my covenant with the Levites was to bring life and peace, and that is what I gave them. This required reverence from them, and they greatly revered me and stood in awe of my name. (6) They passed on to the people the truth of the instructions they received from me. They did not lie or cheat; they walked with me, living good and righteous lives, and they turned many from lives of sin. (7) “The words of a priest’s lips should preserve knowledge of God, and people should go to him for instruction, for the priest is the messenger of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. (8) But you priests have left God’s paths. Your instructions have caused many to stumble into sin. You have corrupted the covenant I made with the Levites,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. (9) “So I have made you despised and humiliated in the eyes of all the people. For you have not obeyed me but have shown favoritism in the way you carry out my instructions.” (10) Are we not all children of the same Father? Are we not all created by the same God? Then why do we betray each other, violating the covenant of our ancestors? (11) Judah has been unfaithful, and a detestable thing has been done in Israel and in Jerusalem. The men of Judah have defiled the LORD’s beloved sanctuary by marrying women who worship idols.

 

Jesus continued to teach the same lesson with the use of a parable in Matthew 15. ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.'” The disciples noticed Jesus repeating this lesson. Knowing Jesus repeats important lessons, Peter asked for an explanation to ensure they did not miss a single point.

 

Matthew 15:15-20 NLTse Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.” (16) “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. (17) “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. (18) But the words you speak come from the heart–that’s what defiles you. (19) For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. (20) These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

 

Jesus ties in the explanation of the lesson by using similar, related words. Lips, say and eat are all related, forming a connection to each of Jesus’ explanations and the scripture He pointed to. Jesus also repeats the word heart, to draw us to the connection. After teaching this lesson a number of times, using a number of scriptures, the Spirit led the disciples into a test, to see if they learned the lesson and were ready to apply it to their lives.

 

Matthew 15:22-23 NLTse A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” (23) But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”

 

Jesus intentionally waited to see His disciple’s response to the situation. The woman was not a Jew. She was different from them, but Jesus had already been teaching, He came to save both Jews and Gentiles. After watching Jesus cross the lake time after time, healing both Jews and Gentiles, Jesus waited to see if any of His disciples would exhibit the compassion He was teaching by example. They failed the exam. The disciple told Jesus to; “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”

 

As we can clearly see, Jesus pointed not only the religious leaders of His time back to God’s Word to teach lessons, these lessons are just as important today. Churches spend more time preaching about traditions and doctrines feeling free to add to God’s Word, than teaching Jesus’ simple lessons. This shows how little they honor God’s Word and God as the creator. Where is their relationship with God? How can they teach people the most important step to worship God, to develop a personal relationship with Him? How can they possibly teach what they do not know? When they refuse to spend time to study the prophecies Jesus pointed to, prophecies about Himself; how can they possibly hope to know Him?

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