15:1-11 Pharisees were the religious and political leaders of the Jews. They were sticklers about following rabbinic traditions. The tradition of hand washing after coming from the market place was a ceremony to show separatism from other nationalities such as the Samaritans. It was not commanded in God’s Word. The Pharisees enforced tradition to the point they would even break God’s law. The tradition of making all gifts a devotion to God was called Corban (Mk 7:11). It nullified God’s command of honoring one’s parents because all financial gifts had to go into the temple treasury. Tradition is not bad unless it is in conflict with the Bible.
15:12-20 The disciples wanted to stay in the good graces of the Pharisees, but Jesus knew that following their guidance would lead His disciples down the wrong path. Jesus predicted the uprooting of their ungodly cause. One who is spiritually blind, should not go to another who is spiritually blind for guidance. The result is disastrous. The Pharisees were more worried about doing a proper hand washing ceremony than helping people deal with sin or dealing with their own sin.
15:21-28 Jesus left Galilee to avoid attention, but this Gentile woman not only recognized him, she correctly identified him as the Son of David. Jesus was commanded by His Heavenly Father to open the kingdom first to the Israelites, but this command would not forbid showing compassion on this woman who was clearly willing to put her trust in Jesus. She knew she was unworthy of Jesus’ blessing but was only asking for a crumb of His power.
15:29-39 What would motivate a crowd of people to sit and listen to a man teach for three days without even going to get something to eat? We will see New Testament growth when we restore New Testament commitment. Why would Jesus perform this same miracle on two separate occasions? To show He could do it anytime He wanted. These people were seeking first the kingdom and their physical needs were being met as well (6:33). Jesus never had to gather the crowds. All He had to do was stand still and they would gather to Him.
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