Matthew 15


Matthew 15:3

And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

God. Most of the time when Jesus spoke about God, he called him Father (see entry for Luke 2:49). But when speaking to the religious leaders and those under law, he sometimes called him God (theos).


Matthew 15:4

“For God said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.’

Honor. Some believe they must hate their parents because of what Jesus said in Luke 14:26. But Jesus doesn’t want us to hate anyone (Matt 5:43–44), and our parents are worthy of honor.


Matthew 15:6

he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

The word of God in this context is the law, specifically the fifth commandment (see Matt. 15:4).

The word of God is the means by which God reveals himself and his will. In the old covenant, God communicated his will to Israel through the Ten Commandments and the law. However, the religious Jews twisted the law to suit their traditions. By doing this the nullified the word of God.

Further reading: The Word of God.


Matthew 15:22

And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.”

Mercy is how grace appears to the needy. See entry for Mercy.

(b) The son of David was another name for the Messiah. See entry for Matt. 1:1.


Matthew 15:25

But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

“Lord, help me!” This woman had a revelation that our God is a God who helps, and the chief way he helps us is by revealing his love and power through his Son. See entry for Heb. 13:6.


Matthew 15:28

Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

Your faith is great. Like the centurion of Matthew 8:10, the Canaanite woman had a revelation of God’s goodness that was greater than most.

It’s a mistake to conclude that the size of our faith matters or that we need more faith before we can access the grace of God. Even a small mustard-seed amount of faith is enough to move mountains (Matt. 17:20). We don’t need more faith as much as we need a deeper revelation of God’s love for us. It is his goodness that inspires us to trust him.


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