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Summary: exposition on Matt ch 15

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TRADITION VERSES TRUTH

Matthew 15 v. 1 - 20 in this portion we have :-

1. The confrontation with Jesus v. 1 & 2 "then came the scribes and Pharisees."

(a) The grounds of this confrontation v. 2 The Tradition of the elders, the oral law or Mishna

(b) The guile of this confrontation v. 1 - of Jerusalem - these were the top theologians

(c) The goal of this contfrontation - to undermine Jesus (his word, his works,and his walk.) ch 14 v. 36 here was a head to head clash between Jesus and the leaders of orthodox Jewish religion i.e. salvation by faith or salvation by works (observance of the law)

2. The condemnation of Jesus v. 3 "why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" see here:-

(a) The source of their tradition v. 9 "the doctrines of man" man’s additions to God’s law

(b) The subtlety of their tradition v. 9 "teaching for doctrines" Their word was placed on a par with God’s word

(c) The sin of their tradition v. 3 "why transgress?" not sinful in itself until it clashed with the word of God - Jesus gives an illustration Note:-

(1) The commandment v. 4 "honour thy father and thy mother" - respect, respond, repay if possible for services given

(2) The contrast v. 5 "but ye say" - Coban, "his money is given to God, his time given, his talents given, his strength given, therefore - v. 6 he is free from the law

(3) The consequence v. 6 so his parents are ignored, and the commandment annulled

(4) The conflict v. 3 so they are transgressing the law of God by their tradition

(d) The shortfall of their tradition v. 7 - 9 - it fails to touch the heart - and results in:-

(1) A praying people who are not heeded v. 8

(2) A praising people who are not heard v. 9 "in vain"

(3) A polluted people who are not healed "their heart is far from me"

(4) A presumptous people who are not humbled "in vain" v. 9

(5) A perverted people who are not helped - misled by the commandments of men v. 9

3. The clarification by Jesus v. 10 - 12 " Hear and understand."

(a) His call v. 10

(b) His charge "hear and understand"

(c) His clarification v. 11 - not what goes in i.e. food - but what comes out of the heart defiles the man v. 19 out of the heart proceeds every evil work

Robbie Burns - " the heart ayes that the part aye - that makes us right or wrong"

(d) His conclusion - true religion demands

(1) obedience not orthodoxy

(2) righteousness not ritual

(3) right attitudes not great achievements

(4) regeneration not reformation

4. The consternation at Jesus v. 12 "the Pharisees were offended"

(a) the cause of their offence - the truth

(b) the consequence of their offence v. 13 they shall be uprooted

(c) the calamity of their offence v. 13 they’re blind spiritually, and they’re leading the spiritually blind, and both are destined for the ditch - "let them alone"

Hosea 4 v. 17 "Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone", v. 19 "they shall be ashamed because of their sacrifices."


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