Study Guide

Gospel of Matthew Chapter 15

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Chapter 15

We Wanna Start a Fight

  • The Pharisees and scribes want to know why Jesus is breaking tradition. Jesus's answer: "Uh, you guys are breaking commandments to uphold tradition. Hypocrites much?"
  • Jesus goes on quoting some Isaiah, and now it's the Pharisees' turn to fulfill a prophecy.
  • To make his point and verbally slap the Pharisees in the face, Jesus tells the crowd that it's not what goes in the mouth which defiles a person—it's what exits the mouth. 
  • Peter doesn't get it. 
  • Jesus breaks it down by saying that everything we eat goes through the digestive system. (Okay, so far so good.) But what comes out of our mouths (i.e., words), comes from our hearts. Forget about breaking food laws; evil thoughts are what we should be worried about.
  • Later Jesus goes to Tyre and Sidon, and a Canaanite woman comes over to him and begs him to take pity on her possessed daughter. Yeah, except Jesus only came for Israel…so too bad, lady.
  • But this woman won't take no for an answer. She says even dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the Master's table. (Kind of reminds us of that whole not giving holy stuff to dogs thing in Chapter 7.) Deep. Jesus is impressed. And thanks to the woman's faith, her daughter is healed.
  • Then Jesus moves on to the Sea of Galilee where he goes on a massive healing binge. Lame? Blind? Deformed? Mute? No problem.
  • Three days later and the huge crowd is still hanging with Jesus. Stomachs are starting to rumble, and he doesn't want to send them away hungry. With only seven loaves and a few fish, Jesus feeds four thousand men (plus women and children) and still has seven baskets of leftovers. Someone needs to get this guy on Top Chef.
  • Time for Jesus to hit the road (er, boat) again—this time, he's off to Magadan.

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