The Gospel According to Matthew

Chapter 15

Christ reproves the scribes and Pharisees for transgressing God's commandments through their own traditions, 1-9; teaches how that which goes into the mouth does not defile a man, 10-20. He heals the daughter of the woman of Canaan, 21-28, and other great multitudes, 29-31; and with seven loaves and a few little fish feeds four thousand men, apart from women and children, 32-39.

1 Then scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus, who were of Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." 3 But he answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and mother,' and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him die the death.' 5 But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or his mother, "Whatever you might be profited by me is an offering to God," 6 He shall not honor his father or his mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 You hypocrites, Isaiah well prophesied of you, saying,

'This people draws near to me with their mouth/
and honors me with their lips,/
but their heart is far from me.

But they worship me in vain,/
teaching the commandments of men for doctrines.

10 And he called the multitude, and said to them, "Hear, and understand. 11 That which goes into the mouth does not defile a man, but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."

12 Then his disciples came, and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying?" 13 But he answered and said, "Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted shall be uprooted. 14 Leave them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch."

15 Then Peter answered and said to him, "Declare to us this parable." 16 And Jesus said, "Are you also yet without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand, that whatever enters in at the mouth goes into the belly and is cast out into the latrine? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart evil thoughts proceed: murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."

21 Then Jesus went from there and departed into the territories of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same territories and cried to him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, son of David. My daughter is grievously afflicted with a demon." 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and implored him, saying, "Send her away, for she cries after us." 24 But he answered and said, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 25 Then she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me." 26 But he answered and said, "It is not proper to take the children's bread and to cast it to dogs." 27 And she said, "Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table." 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, your faith is great. It shall be to you even as you wish." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

29 And Jesus departed from there, came near to the sea of Galilee, and ascended a mountain and sat down there. 30 And great multitudes came to him, having with them those who were lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet, and he healed them. 31 Therefore, the multitude wondered when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.

32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him, and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat. I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way." 33 And his disciples say to him, "Where should we get so much bread in the wilderness as to satisfy so great a multitude?" 34 And Jesus says to them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven, and a few little fish." 35 And he commanded the multitude to sit on the ground. 36 And he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. 37 And they all ate and were filled. And they took up seven baskets full of the fragments that were left. 38 And those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children.

39 And he sent the multitude away, and took a boat and came into the borders of Magdala.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Matthew, Chapter 15[➚]


[v.1-9] - Gospel Link: Mark 7:1-13.

[v.4] - Quoting Exodus 20:12 (LXX), 21:17. See also, Leviticus 20:9; Deuteronomy 5:16.

[v.8-9] - Quoting Isaiah 29:13 (LXX).

[v.10-11] - Gospel Link: Mark 7:14-16.

[v.14] - Gospel Link: Luke 6:39.

[v.15-20] - Gospel Link: Mark 7:17-23.

[v.21-28] - Gospel Link: Mark 7:24-30.

[v.29] - Gospel Link: Mark 7:31.

[v.31] - Gospel Link: Mark 7:37.

[v.32-39] - Gospel Link: Mark 8:1-10.