Matthew 13:53 – 15:39
- Unbelief in His Hometown of Nazareth (13:53-58)
- Beheading of John the Baptist by Herod (14:1-12)
- First Dispensational Outline: Miracles on the Sea of Galilee (14:13-36)
- The Presentation of Christ to Israel: Feeding of the Five Thousand (14:13-21)
- The Time of Christ’s Absence: A Storm on the Sea of Galilee (14:22-33)
- The Millennium: The Lord’s Reception and Healings at Gennesaret (14:34-36)
- Second Dispensational Outline: to Syro-Phoenicia and Back Again (Matt. 15)
- Religious Hypocrisy & the Evil Heart of Man Exposed (15:1-20)
- Turning to the Gentiles: the Syro-Phoenician’s Daughter (15:21-28)
- Millennial Blessing: Feeding of the Four Thousand (15:29-39)
Unbelief in His Hometown of Nazareth (13:53-58)
Beheading of John the Baptist by Herod (14:1-12)
- Controlled by superstitious fear (v.2)
- Controlled by anger (vv.3-4)
- Controlled by popular opinion (v.5)
- Controlled by their own lusts (vv.6-7)
- Controlled by Satan (vv.8-11)
First Dispensational Outline: Miracles on the Sea of Galilee (14:13-36)
Two Great Transitional Changes (vv.22-23a)
The History of the Christian Testimony (vv.23b-31)
28 And Peter answering him said, Lord, if it be “thou”, command me to come to thee upon the waters. 29 And he said, Come. And Peter, having descended from the ship, walked upon the waters to go to Jesus. vv.28-29 The recovery of the truth. Finally, one of the twelve responds and leaves the Jewish ship to take the same ground as Christ; walking on water. Peter goes beyond the position of the remnant, forsaking all natural supports, and walking on the water with nothing but the truth of Christ’s Person before him! This is the quality of faith that ought to characterize the Church; “Lord, if it be thou, command me to come”. In other words, “Lord, if you are really there, no obstacle is so great that it cannot be overcome by Your command”. Sometimes we lose the practical significance of this miracle. Peter actually walked on the water! Water is the most unsteady of supports. There is no possibility of remaining upright if we lose sight of Christ. There is nothing is us that can keep us in that place, it is only enjoyed by faith in the Person of Christ. In the mid-1800s a small group of Christians got out of the boat and began to walk by faith as gathered to the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ alone. They let go of every human system and embraced Christ’s heavenly, sanctified position as the Church’s proper calling. They went walking out to meet the Lord, looking for His soon return. The hope of the Lord’s coming had been lost for centuries.
Christ Rejoins the Remnant (vv.32-33)
Second Dispensational Outline: to Syro-Phoenicia and Back Again (Matt. 15)
- vv.1-20 The unbelief of the Jew and exposure of man’s true spiritual condition.
- vv.21-28 The belief of the Gentile and their blessing while Israel is set aside.
- vv.29-39 Resumption of dealings with the Jew, and universal blessing in the Millennium.
Hypocritical Accusation of the Pharisees: Disciples Eating Unwashed (15:1-2)
Any tradition formed on any other basis than the Word of God will sooner or later be found in contradiction to the plain commandments of God. We see this with the copious traditions developed in the Catholic Church down through the centuries. Holy candles, holy robes, holy incense, holy smoke, etc. all are in opposition to the principles of New Testament doctrine. Generally speaking, the traditions valued so greatly by the Church are deviations from the Word of God.
We are not saying that traditions in the sense of practical applications are bad, so long as they are formed on scripture and never elevated above (or even close to) scripture. For instance, we are told to go unto Jesus without the camp of Judaism; leaving all the elements of a natural religion behind (Heb. 13:13). One application of that is to omit instrumental music from assembly worship. That is a tradition or application based on a scriptural principle. However, we should be very careful not to "do things how we've always done them" without looking afresh to the Lord and His Word for direction. This is the religious tendency of the flesh, and it is the opposite of dependence on the Lord. The word "traditions" is used several times in the New Testament, not only for the added sayings of men (Matt. 15:1-7), but for what the apostles exhorted the saints by inspiration, first orally, then in writing while the canon was in building and not yet complete (Rom. 6:17; 2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Cor. 11:2).The word could also be translated "directions" or "instructions". In either case, these "instructions" were commandments from the Lord; "if any man thinketh himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge the things that I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord" (1 Cor. 14:37). We have those same "instructions" with us today, in the completed canon of scripture. The idea that there is a separate set of "traditions" (man's word) that are to be valued equally or superior to God's Word is very dangerous.
The word "traditions" is used several times in the New Testament, not only for the added sayings of men (Matt. 15:1-7), but for what the apostles exhorted the saints by inspiration, first orally, then in writing while the canon was in building and not yet complete (Rom. 6:17; 2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Cor. 11:2).The word could also be translated "directions" or "instructions". In either case, these "instructions" were commandments from the Lord; "if any man thinketh himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge the things that I write unto you, that they are the commandment of the Lord" (1 Cor. 14:37). We have those same "instructions" with us today, in the completed canon of scripture. The idea that there is a separate set of "traditions" (man's word) that are to be valued equally or superior to God's Word is very dangerous.Whether it be the Jewish Talmud or the Christian Catechism, the traditions of men always lead to transgressing the commandments of God! Why? It is looking to man rather than looking to God, and it is adding to scripture.
Teaching About True Defilement: Comes from Within Man’s Heart (15:10-20)
- We find Jesus passing through Nazareth, where He is rejected for a second time (Matt. 13:54).
- 1st Withdrawal. He continues through Galilee, and from Capernaum, they go off by boat with Jesus to a quiet place near Bethsaida (Luke 9:10). Here he feeds the 5,000 (Matt. 14:14).
- The disciples return across the Sea of Galilee in a storm (Matt. 14:22), Jesus meets them walking on the water (Matt. 14:25). They land near the Plain of Gennesaret and Jesus heals many (Matt. 14:34).
- From Gennesaret they make their way back to Capernaum (John 6:24).
- 2nd Withdrawal. Jesus withdraws from Galilee to the region of Tyre and Sidon in Syrian-Phoenicia (Matt. 15:21) where he heals the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman (Matt. 15:22).
- 3rd Withdrawal. He leaves Sidon and great crowds follow Him. He goes toward Galilee (Matt. 15:29) but travels through the Decapolis (Mark 7:31) where he heals the deaf and mute man (Mk 7:32) and feeds the 4,000 (Mt 15:32).
- He comes to the Sea of Galilee, crosses by boat to Dalmanutha (Matt. 15:39). There the Pharisees and Sadducees ask for a sign from heaven (Matt. 16:1).
- He continues on to Bethsaida where a blind man is healed (Mk 8:22).
- 4th Withdrawal. Jesus then withdraws again, and travels from Galilee to Caesarea Philippi. This is the most remote of His withdrawals. It is there that Peter confesses that Jesus is the Christ, Son of the Living God (Matt. 16:13).
- He continued north from Caesarea Philippi towards Mount Hermon where Jesus is transfigured (Matt. 17:1).
- Jesus return to Galilee (Matt. 17:22) where (in Capernaum) He pays the Temple Tax with the coin from the fish’s mouth (Matt. 17:24)!
- Jesus leaves Capernaum and Galilee for the last earthly time (Matt 19:1) and heads for Jerusalem (John 7:10).
The expression "O ye of little faith" is a gentle rebuke, repeated four times in Matthew: first in Matt. 6:30 in regard to care; second in Matt. 8:23 in regard to fear; third in Matt. 14:31 in regard to doubt; and fourth in Matt. 16:7-8 in regard to reasoning in divine things. All four instances have to do with failure in simple faith. And yet the Lord never says to His own "O ye of no faith".