The Pharisees and teachers of the law came all the way from Jerusalem because they were ticked that Jesus’ disciples didn’t wash their hands before they ate.  (Many a mother might join in with this angry throng).  But Jesus, in all his brilliance, once again turned the tables against them.  He asked them why they broke God’s commandments in favor of their own traditions.  I’m sure they were horrified at the thought.

Then Jesus talks to them about how they encourage people to give money to “God” and yet deprive their parents.  He said this is in direct contradiction of the command to honor one’s father and mother.  He then tells them it’s not about washing hands or eating unclean food, but it’s about what’s in your heart.  For out of the heart the mouth speaks.

God wants our obedience to him first and alone.  As one author puts it, “This makes so much sense to me when I think about my own children.  When they were small, and I told them to pick up their toys and put them away, I did not want to walk into their room and find them coloring a picture for me.  I wanted them to pick up their toys.  Now, with my teenagers, I don’t want to hear that they were late because they stopped at Wal-mart to buy me a gift.  I want them to be home at eleven o’clock!” (Janet Pope, pg 90, His Word in My Heart).

This is exactly the same thing with Jesus in this text.  It didn’t matter that the gifts given were “devoted to God” if God said first honor your father and mother by taking care of them.  That is the equivalent of disobeying God and then buying him a present to somehow make it right.


MemorizedMatthew 15:1-20 (Feb 6)