Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 15:10-14

"When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear and understand: Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch." -Matthew 15:10-14

To whom are these commands spoken?

The first command is spoken to the multitudes. The second is spoken to the disciples.

What do these commands require?

1. Hear and understand.
2. Leave the Pharisees alone.

What truths do we learn here?

Jesus uses the first command to emphasize what He is teaching. The following words are of utmost importance. "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." This truth is foundational to salvation. All who will be saved must realize that they are defiled from within--from the heart. We all need a heart-change. Our unbelieving heart of stone must be changed by God for a new heart.

The Pharisees didn't understand this truth. They focused on keeping the exterior points of the law and forgot about the laws pointing to the heart. In order to accept Jesus teaching here, the Pharisees would have to admit that their outward actions were of no value to God. They would have to admit that they were wicked, unregenerate men. This would completely destroy their 'spiritual' image they had worked so hard to build up.

Jesus teaches to let the Pharisees alone. Let them go their own way. The blind will lead the blind into a pit. This reminds me of Matthew 7:6 where Jesus said not to cast your pearls to the swine. The Pharisees will be offended by this teaching. Leave them alone. If they want to follow their own blind leaders, let them. It is comforting to know that Nicodemus came to Christ by night to find out the truth. And it is comforting to know that the apostle Paul came to Christ. Let them alone. Let the Spirit of God open the eyes of the blind.

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