Matthew 15:1 MEANING

Matthew 15:1

(1) Scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem.--The presence of these actors on the scene is every way significant. They had been prominent in like accusations. It was by them that our Lord had been accused of blasphemy in forgiving sins (Matthew 9:3), of eating and drinking with publicans and sinners (Matthew 9:11), of disregarding fasts (Matthew 9:14), of casting out devils by Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24), of Sabbath-breaking (Matthew 12:2; Matthew 12:10). It was, we may believe, their presence in the synagogue of Capernaum which led our Lord to adopt (as in John 6:26-65) a form of teaching so unlike the usual tenor of that of His Galilean ministry. And now they return to the charge again with a new and characteristic accusation.

Verses 1-20. - Discourse concerning ceremonial pollution. (Mark 7:1-23.) Verse 1. - Then. This is after the third Passover, which whether our Lord attended or not, has been a matter of some dispute. Moral considerations would make us infer that he was present, fulfilling all righteousness, though there is no direct statement in our narratives on the subject. Came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying. The Sinaitic, B, and some other manuscripts read, Came to Jesus from Jerusalem scribes and Pharisees. This, which is virtually the reading of the Revised Version, whether original or not, seems to represent the fact correctly. The bigoted rabbis of the capital, aroused to fresh action by the news of Christ's success in Galilee, send emissaries from Jerusalem to see if they cannot find some cause of offence in the words or actions of this rash Innovator which may give the desired opportunity of crushing him. An occasion offered itself, and was immediately seized.

15:1-9 Additions to God's laws reflect upon his wisdom, as if he had left out something which was needed, and which man could supply; in one way or other they always lead men to disobey God. How thankful ought we to be for the written word of God! Never let us think that the religion of the Bible can be improved by any human addition, either in doctrine or practice. Our blessed Lord spoke of their traditions as inventions of their own, and pointed out one instance in which this was very clear, that of their transgressing the fifth commandment. When a parent's wants called for assistance, they pleaded, that they had devoted to the temple all they could spare, even though they did not part with it, and therefore their parents must expect nothing from them. This was making the command of God of no effect. The doom of hypocrites is put in a little compass; In vain do they worship me. It will neither please God, nor profit themselves; they trust in vanity, and vanity will be their recompence.Then came to Jesus Scribes and Pharisees,.... After he had wrought so many miracles, particularly that of feeding five thousand men; besides women and children, with five loaves and two fishes: the fame of which had reached Jerusalem, and occasioned much talk there about him: the Scribes and Pharisees, who were his inveterate enemies, hearing thereof, came to him, where he was, in Galilee: to know the truth of these things, to converse with him, and to watch, and observe, what he said and did;

which were of Jerusalem, saying. There were Scribes and Pharisees throughout the land, but those of Jerusalem were the chief; they were men of the greatest learning and abilities, and were more expert in their religion and customs: these were either sent by the sanhedrim at Jerusalem, or came of themselves; taking upon them a greater power, and authority of examining, correcting, directing, and advising.

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