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Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 15

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-10

32 Peter here symbolizes the sovereignty of Israel over the turbulent gentiles in the time to come. They are made afraid by the spiritual power of evil, typified by the wind. Peter's cry will be theirs when He reappears in glory. Then all Israel shall be invoking the name of the Lord and shall be saved ( Rom_10:13 ; Rom_11:26 ). Then Satan will be bound ( Rev_20:2 ), even as the wind flags. And then the nation as a whole will worship Him as they never have done before.

32-33 Compare Mar_6:51 Joh_6:21 .

34-36 Compare Mar_6:53-56 .

36 See Luk_6:19 .

36 As millennial bliss follows the terrors of the end time, so this lovely scene of abounding blessing succeeds the night of stress and storm. His presence dispels disease. They simply touched the tassel off His robe. This is not merely indicative of the most casual contact or a sign of the strength of their faith. It had a deeper significance, derived from Jehovah's instructions in the law ( Num_15:38-40 ). The garment of an Israelite was bordered by a fringe or tassel, in which was a ribbon of blue. The word blue is from the root meaning to finish. It was to remind them to do all His precepts. It may well be the sign of His complete obedience, especially of its finish on Golgotha. Contact with the cross is the basis of all blessing,

1-6 Compare Mar_7:1-13 .

1 Our Lord came to fulfill the law. When He taught that which seemed to be other than its precepts it was because He was above it. He could make it more searching ( Mat_5:27-48 ). Being the Temple of God, He and all in His presence could profane the sabbath ( Mat_12:1-8 ). Now, however, He is charged with violating the oral precepts which the Rabbis had not only added to the law, but actually placed above the law. In fact, while they rejected His supremacy above Moses, they arrogated it to themselves. Their choice of a test is most unfortunate for them. While they were hypocritically concerned with the ceremonial cleansing of their hands, their mouths were defiling themselves and all about them with thoughts dishonoring to God. The Lord did not take them up on the subject of washing before meals. He may have thought it a harmless rite, to be complied with or not, according to the finer dictates of courtesy. But He does attack the very idea that a tradition is binding, and that He or His were obliged to conform to any human precept. So He chooses one of their traditions, which was nothing less than an attempt to elude their legal obligations, and exposes their hypocrisy in placing their own precepts above the divine enactments. They called it “a hedge around the law”, but it was a dagger thrust at the revealed will of God. It did not guard the law, but explained it away. His law was just and good, their perversions of it were unjust and bad. The fifth precept was a most salutary provision for both parents and children. It is a sign of the degeneracy of our times that little honor is shown to father or mother. The law included in this the parental control of time or talent. The only way to avoid this was to claim that it was dedicated to God, the very One Who had demanded that it be dedicated to parents! The “corban” or approach offering was an oblation intended to win the favor of God. They thought to bribe Him with the results of their disobedience to His word! The same principle applies to all times. To hearken is better than sacrifice, to attend than the fat of rams ( Isa_15:22 ). Let no one suppose that He is pleased with their oblations, whether it be success in service, or even suffering for His sake, if it is not in fullest accord with His will. It is one of the most insidious and deceitful of delusions to imagine that, since His grace bears with such evil, and sends blessing through it, it receives His approval. Let us not take advantage of His grace or presume upon His love. Such is not the leading of His Spirit. Our Lord not only denounces the oblations of disobedient sons, but plainly refutes the teaching that contamination comes from unwashed hands.

4 See Exo_20:12 Exo_21:17

7-9 Compare Mar_7:6-8 .

8 See Isa_29:13 , Septuagint.

10-20 Compare Mar_7:14-23 .

14 See Isa_9:16 ; Mal_2:7 ; Luk_6:39 .

Verses 21-39

21 Compare Mar_7:24-30 .

21 The incident of the Canaanitish woman is of surpassing interest to us, for it shows clearly what was the status of the nations in our Lord's ministry. Her very mistakes are instructive. The nations have no part in the Son of David. He is Israel's King. No matter how much she may implore the Son of David, He answers her not a word. Let no one suppose that His heart was not touched or that He did not wish to be gracious. She has come to the wrong door. Yet He will not dismiss her. Finally, He tells why He cannot help. The Son of David, the character she approached, has no commission outside the nation of Israel. An oriental king is considered the father of his people. They are his children. The Canaanitish woman had no claim on His bounty. This is the key to Christ's earthly mission. He was a Servant of the Circumcision, not of the Uncircumcision ( Rom_15:8 ). During His ministry the nations did not even have the place they received in the Pentecostal era. When, after much preparation, the apostles were taught that proselytes, such as Cornelius, could share a little of Israel's spiritual blessings (Acts.10). Later, at Pisidian Antioch, the door was opened by Paul, to some who were not proselytes ( Act_13:46-47 ). But it was not until the end of the Acts era that the salvation of God is sent directly to the nations ( Act_28:29 ). The latter half of the second chapter of ( Eph_2:11-22 ) is an elaborate statement showing that, in the present administration of God's grace, the nations are no longer in the inferior position accorded them in Paul's earlier ministry. Christ is Lord of all ( Act_10:36 ). Under this title even the Canaanitish woman was within His jurisdiction. She worships and calls for help. Yet even thus, she is by no means on an equal footing with the favored nation. Only the scraps are for her. If she will take the place of a cur, she can have a little of the leavings. This is the place we gentiles have in the ministry of Christ. Our position was improved in the succeeding Pentecostal era. But it was not until Paul's imprisonment that we were brought nigh and enter the family of God ( Eph_2:18-19 ). Until then we were still guests at Israel's table, if not puppies under it.

29-31 Compare Mar_7:31-27 .

32-39 Compare Mar_8:1-10

32 The feeding of the four thousand on this occasion is the complement of His previous miracle, when five thousand were satisfied ( Mat_14:16 ). There are two great lessons to be learned from it which can only be discerned by carefully comparing the two. As a sign, the seven cakes, added to the five, make twelve, which corresponds with the spiritual provision for Israel during their stay in the wilderness or before they enter the kingdom. The five cakes are for Israel in the past, being the first three accounts of our Lord's life, Acts and Hebrews. John's account was probably written later and is for the kingdom itself. The interval between the two miracles indicates the period of Israel's dispersion. The seven cakes are the seven epistles provided for their sustenance at the end of this eon. James, first and second Peter, the three epistles of John, and Jude will be their manna in the time of the end. The need was much greater on this occasion, for the throng had been three days without food. They were faint and in danger of collapse. These conditions will be repeated in Israel in the time to come. Then the believers will be glad to avail themselves of the Circumcision epistles which meet their needs and minister to their wants. It is sheer robbery for us to take this provision from God's covenant people. Should we purloin their spiritual provision it will not, indeed, diminish their store, but it will reduce our own enjoyment of the superabounding sufficiency supplied to us in Paul's epistles, for we cannot appreciate our own riches while we filch from them.

1-4 Compare Mar_8:11-13 . See Mat_12:38-40 ; Luk_12:54-56 ; 1Co_1:22 .

1 Blind mouths! What was the feeding of the four thousand but a sign from heaven? But if they cannot read a sign from above, He will see that they provide themselves with a sign from beneath. Undoubtedly these very Pharisees and Sadducees were instrumental in putting Him into the heart of the earth. His death and burial and resurrection constituted the great sign to the unbelieving nation. Jonah was a type of their disobedience as well as of His passage through death and of blessing to the nations through Israel.

5-12 Compare Mar_8:14-21 .

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Matthew 15". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/matthew-15.html. 1968.
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