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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

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Frameworks: Matthew's Gospel, chapter 15


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)


FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 15

v.1-11 The Opposition challenge Jesus about ritual cleansing

v.12-20 Jesus explains to the disciples

v.21-28 A Canaanite Woman comes to Jesus

v.29-39 Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand


v.1-11 The Opposition challenge Jesus about ritual cleansing


v.1 (the opposition question Jesus) Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,

v.2 (they objected to his disciples not washing their hands) “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!”

v.3 (Jesus challenges then about lawbreaking) Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?

v.4 (the Law protected parents) For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother' [Exo 20:12; Deut 5:16] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.' [Exo 21:17; Lev. 20:9]

v.5,6  (yet they twisted it to avoid caring) But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,' they are not to ‘honor their father or mother' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

v.7 (Jesus denounces them) You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

v.8 (as Isaiah had said, they speak the words but are heartless) “‘These people honor me with their lips,    but their hearts are far from me.

v.9 (their worship is false, preferring man-made rules ) They worship me in vain;   their teachings are merely human rules. ' [Isa 29:13]”

v.10 (Jesus calls the crowd to learn) Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.

v.11 (it's not what goes in but what comes out of the mouth that defiles a person) What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”



v.12-20 Jesus explains to the disciples


v.12 (the disciples ask about the Pharisees) Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

v.13 (don't worry, says Jesus, those not of my father will be dealt with) He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.

v.14 (they are spiritually blind and will fall) Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

v.15 (Peter asks for explanation) Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”

v.16,17 (Jesus questions them) “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?

v.18 (it's what comes out of the mouth that is important) But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

v.19 (the wrong heart produces lots of outwards wrongs) For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

v.20 (words defile, not unwashed hands) These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”



v.21-28 A Canaanite Woman comes to Jesus


v.21 (Jesus moves north for a while) Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.

v.22 (a woman pleads for her daughter) A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

v.23 (Jesus holds back, the disciples want her to go) Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

v.24 (he says he was only sent to Israel [not foreigners]) He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

v.25 (she pleads further) The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

v.26 (he [tantalizingly] says what he has is only for the Jews) He replied, “It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs.”

v.27 (she persists) “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table.”

v.28 (her faith moves him and her daughter is healed Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.



v.29-39 Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand


v.29 (Jesus goes back south to the Sea of Galilee again but settles on a mountainside) Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down.

v.30 (great crowds bring all their sick and he healed them all) Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them.

v.31 (the people are amazed) The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

v.32 (Jesus points out to his disciples the need for food for the crowd) Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

v.33 (they say there is nowhere nearby to get food) His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?”

v.34 (he asks what they have) “How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked. “Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

v.35 (he sits the crowd down) He told the crowd to sit down on the ground.

v.36 (he then fed the crowd with the little they have) Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.

v.37 (there is plenty for all plus leftovers) They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

v.38 (there were 4000+ there) The number of those who ate was four thousand men, besides women and children.

v.39 (afterwards he crosses the Lake again) After Jesus had sent the crowd away, he got into the boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan.