Verse 1, Hypocrites are always watching to see if you violate one of their standards or traditions. They are quick to point those out to you and to others. The Devil’s first attack was with a question, and they were always accusatory. Many of the brethren today have put standards or traditions equal to, or above the Scriptures. Yet, like the Pharisees, they fail to see it.
Verse 3-9. You will notice that Jesus “turned the tables” on them with a Scriptural question. The question was simple, but revealing. It showed their double hypocrisy. The first hypocrisy was their transgression of the commandment of God by their tradition. God had clearly commanded Israel to honor their father and mother. That included care for them in their old age. However, the Pharisees had devised a plan where the children could have some of the money for themselves, and give the rest to the temple, thus to the priest. Dake explain it clearly. “It is translated offering (Lk. 21:4). Children who did not want to support parents used this tradition as an excuse to evade the law. They would enter into a deal with a corrupt priest for a small percent to dedicate things to God which should go to parents. They then could claim them to be God’s and not their own. Thus, they would be free from any obligation to parents. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible:” Thus, Jesus revealed their wicked hypocrisy by their actions of deceit, but also from the prophet Isaiah.
Verses 10-14. Jesus then call the multitude and explained the deception and ignorance of those who taught, and followed the teaching that it was a sin to eat with unwashed sins. The religion of Islam is also filled with such traditions. In many of these matters, there is much similarity between Judaism and Islam.
Jesus then makes it clear. It is not a sin to eat with unwashed hands. It may not be safe is some cases, but it is never a sin. The reason is obvious; stomach acids digest that which one eats. That which comes out of the mouth defiles a person. It reveals what is in the heart. Jesus accused the religious leaders of blindness, and said to ignore them.
One can understand Peter’s question when we realize that he too, what raised in the tradition of the Jews. Thus, the parable was unclear to him. Jesus ask Peter a question, and the answer should have been obvious. The answer is in the text. “Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 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 proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:1-20. Thus, our Lord is teaching His disciples the danger of the leaven of the Pharisees, and preparing them for their future ministry according to the Word of God.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.