Matt 15:1-2 Then came to Yeshua (Jesus) scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they don’t wash their hands when they eat bread.
Traditions of the elders - This refers to the extra biblical teachings that became popular after the return from Babylonian captivity. Traditions can be a wonderful thing, but should not be elevated to the same position as G-d given commandments just because they have been practiced for centuries. These men where doing just that and Yeshua corrected them. Traditions should help us understand G-d’s law and not become law itself.
The Law of Moshe contained no commandment about washing ones hands before eating except for the priests who were required to wash before eating holy offerings.
Leviticus 22:6-7 The soul which has touched any such will be unclean until even, and will not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water. And when the sun is down, he will be clean, and will afterward eat of the holy things; because it is his food.
Matt 15:3-6 But He answered and said to them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of G-d by your tradition? For G-d commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He that curses father or mother, let him die the death. But you say, Whosoever will say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever might be profited by me; And honor not his father or his mother, he will be free. Thus have you made the commandment of G-d of none effect by your tradition.
We are commanded to “Honor our Parents”. This may include helping them financially if necessary.
Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land, which the L-RD your G-d gives you.
Exodus 21:17 And he that curses his father, or his mother, will surely be put to death.
The Hebrew term “Corban” means, “given to G-d”. It refers to any gift of money or goods that an individual vows to G-d.
If a young man was angry with his parents he could claim that all of his money and possessions were “Corban” and he would not have to help his parents. This was an extra biblical law, which was used to avoid the clear biblical instruction given to us by Moshe. Yeshua was telling them that these men had taken the law into their own hands and were changing it to suit themselves.
Matt 15:7-9 You hypocrites, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, saying, This people draw to Me with their mouth, and honors 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.
Isaiah 29:13 Therefore the L-RD said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
Many are guilty of this practice. They have an outward form of godliness but their hearts (Leb) are as black as sackcloth.
Yeshua was not the first to chastise many; Isaiah also warned many about putting too much emphasis on man-made rules and regulations.
Matt 15:10-12 And He called the multitude, and said to them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man. Then came His disciples, and said to Him, You know that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
The Pharisees - Most of the Pharisees were offended.
Yes, they were offended, just as I am sure many of our readers will be offended at this lesson today. The Word of G-d is like that.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of G-d is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Instead of becoming angry with G-d’s Word, we need to examine ourselves and see if we may be guilty of this sin. If we are, we need to confess our sin to the Father and ask His forgiveness.
The Fifteenth letter is Samech - Divine presence, Protection and Support; stands for the Holy of Holies of the Temple.
Matt 15:13 But He answered and said, every plant, which my heavenly Father has not planted, will be rooted up.
Those that are planted by the Father will be protected.
Matt 15:14 Let them alone: they are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch.
Some would rather listen to man or certain traditions by man. Some would rather listen and read lost leaders or teachers instead of thinking for themselves or really honestly listen to Ruach HaKodesh.
Matt 15:15 Then answered Peter and said to Him, Declare to us this parable.
Peter relies on G-d for the understanding; although it seems he should have known by now. Peter was not relying on Ruach HaKodesh for understanding.
Matt 15:16-20 So Yeshua (Jesus) said, "Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things, which proceed out of the mouth, come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."
Yeshua speaks of the inside and outside of our bodies which as the appropriate meaning because our bodies as a temple for Ruach HaKodesh. We are to keep our bodies pure and Yeshua tells us what can defile us. Not what goes in the mouth but things that come out of our heart (leb) like evil thoughts, etc.
Food is physical and eating non-kosher food could not corrupt a person spiritually, what corrupts us spiritually are our evil thoughts and deeds.