Tradition vs God (v1-20)
- Pharisees and scribes
- travelled from Jerusalem to confront Jesus, showing how serious they were about their mission (to oppose Jesus).
- more interested in the tradition handed down by the elders (Mishnah – oral law from Moses written down), which because more important than the original law God gave through Moses!
- Accusation: The religious leaders are elevating tradition over God’s commandments.
- Illustration: Corban (Hebrew word for “a gift”). Warren Wirsbe commentary: If a Jew wanted to escape some financial responsibilities, he would declare his goods to be “Corban—a gift to God.” This meant he was free from other obligations, such as caring for his parents. But in so doing, the person was losing the power of God’s Word in his life, and thus hurting his character and missing God’s blessing.
- Application: Isaiah 29:13 – obedience to tradition causes one to be disobedient to God’s Word, proving tradition to be false. Corban contradicts Exodus 20:12 (honouring father and mother).
- Warren Wirsbe commentary: Tradition vs God
- Tradition is external, God’s truth is internal, able to change us inside out
- Tradition pleases people, obedience to God’s Word pleases God
- Tradition is a ritual, God’s Word is truth, it’s reality
- Honouring tradition more than honouring God/His Word, has serious consequences (v13-14)
- What goes into the mouth goes through the stomach and is eliminated BUT what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, which without Christ, is the source of all sorts of evil – which truly defiles a person, not eating with unwashed hands!
The Syrophoenician Woman
- Woman acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah (Lord, Son of David) but was a gentile
- Jesus wasn’t being rude but wanting to draw out her faith
- Disciples wanted to get rid of her, not a lot of compassion
- Jesus: I came for Israel
- Woman: Sinner begging for help (Wiersbe)
- Jesus: Children’s bread (what He has for Israel) not for pets – wanting to draw faith out of the woman
- Woman: Reveals great faith when she says pets get crumbs!
- Jesus responds by healing woman’s daughter
- Jesus healed a deaf and mute man (Mark 7:31-37) who spread the news about Jesus despite being told to keep it quiet
- Jesus healed everyone who came to Him (area was predominantly Gentile territory)
- Gentile crowd glorified the God of Israel as they watched the miraculous healing where as those of Israel associated Jesus with Satan!
Four Thousand Fed
- Not the same as the feeding of the five thousand who were predominantly Jews
- People were with Jesus three days, so He had compassion on them (didn’t want them to faint)
- Disciples either had forgotten about the feeding of the five thousand OR thought Jesus wouldn’t perform any miracles in Gentile territory
- What is available is handed over to Jesus, who multiplies
- Leftovers aren’t wasted