Matt 15 Traditions



Matt. 15:1-2 Then came to Yahshua scribes and Pharisees, Awhich were of Jerusalem, saying,
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

  • These scribes and Pharisees are an official delegation from Jerusalem, coming to investigate and assess the words and work of this man Yahshua.
  • They do not wash their hands when they eat bread.
  • The matter in question has nothing to do with good hygiene.
  • The religious officials are offended that the disciples do not observe the rigid, extensive ritual for washing before meals.
  • These ceremonial washings were commanded by tradition, not by Scripture.
  • The religious leaders say as much when they refer to the tradition of the elders.

Matt. 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of Elohim by your tradition?

  • When the disciples were accused of sin, Yahshua answered right back with another accusation.
  • Why was Yahshua so stern in His reply?
  • Because these leaders were far too concerned with these ceremonial trivialities.
  • When they declared people “unclean” because of their tradition, they denied the people access to Yahweh.
  • These ceremonial washings based on tradition, not the Scriptures.

Matt. 15:4-6 For Elohim commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of Elohim of none effect by your tradition.

  • The Jewish people of Yahshua’ day had a way to get around the command to honor your father and mother.
  • If they declared that all their possessions or savings were a gift to Yah, specially dedicated to Him, they could then say that their resources were unavailable to help his parents.
  • Through this, someone could completely disobey the command to honor his father or mother, and do it while being ultra-religious.

Matt. 15:7-9 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

  • The quotation from Isaiah accurately describes the real problem with these religious leaders.
  • They elevated man’s tradition to an equal level with Yah’s revealed word.
  • Yah is interested in the internal and the real.
  • We are far more interested in the external and the image.

Matt. 15:10-11 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

  • Yahshua states a fundamental principle.
  • Washing with “unclean hands” or any other such thing that we “put into us” is not defiling.
  • Rather, what comes out is what defiles, and it reveals that we have unclean (defiled) hearts.
  • Remember we are talking about unscriptural traditions.

Matt 15:12-14 Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

  • Of course He knew that He offended them! He intended to offend them.
  • This applies directly to the religious leaders.
  • Their commandments of men will not last, because they are not rooted either in Yah or truth.
  • Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man:
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