15 Matthew


Becky Pannunzio


Matthew 15:1-39


- Scribes and Pharisees come to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked why His disciples break the tradition of ceremonial hand washing.

- Jesus replies with a question: Why do they themselves transgress God's commandment to "honor your father and mother" for the sake of their tradition--to claim they couldn't provide for their parents because they were giving the money to God? Then He blasts them, calling them hypocrites for honoring God with their words while their hearts are far from God.

- Jesus then clarifies to the crowd that a man is defiled not by what goes into his mouth, but what comes out of it.

- Then Jesus' disciples ask Him if He knew that The Pharisees were offended by His statement.

Jesus' response to His disciples: The Pharisees are blind guides of the blind--heading toward the pit and taking their followers with them.

- Peter then asks Jesus for more explanation about how a man is defiled. Jesus (frustrated) explains that it is the evil in one's heart that defiles him, not what he eats or the fact he is eating with unwashed hands.

- Jesus went to the district of Tyre and Sidon and a Canaanite (Gentile) woman began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me Lord, son of David, my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed." But Jesus did not answer her a word. His disciples came to Jesus, telling Him to send the woman away because she kept shouting. Jesus then answered the woman, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." The woman bowed down and asked the Lord to help her. Jesus resisted her, but the woman persisted, willing to take "crumbs" from Him. 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.

- Jesus left there and went up to a mountain. As He was sitting there, a large crowd came to Him, bringing people who were disabled, and He healed them. The people then glorified the God of Israel.

- Jesus called His disciples, telling them He felt compassion on the crowd, who had been with Him three days and had not eaten. He did not want to send them away unfed. The disciples questioned where they could get food for such a large crowd. Jesus then miraculously fed the crowd of more than four thousand from a few fish and loaves of bread! The leftovers were more than what He started with!


This chapter contrasts the faith that pleases God with the attitude/actions that displease Him. The Gentile woman, who annoyed Jesus' disciples with her non-stop yelling, knew that she was desperate and that Jesus was the only One who could heal her daughter. She humbled herself before Jesus (and the crowd) and persisted in her faith, appealing to His compassion, mercy and power. Jesus marveled at her faith and healed her daughter. This display of genuine faith is contrasted with the arrogance and lack of faith of the religious leaders,

whose hearts were far from God and without compassion for the people they (blindly) led. Even Jesus' disciples lacked compassion for the Gentile woman and wanted Jesus to dismiss her.  They also lacked faith in believing Jesus could feed the crowd of thousands...


Dear Lord Jesus, You are so amazing! I love your compassion! Thank you for teaching me your Powerful Presence. Please help me to turn first to You, as You are my Healer. Lord, may I respond in faith and compassion to the people in my life. Thank you.

6 comments (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
Powerful Presence Indeed Becky
Your comment, and this passage "The leftovers were more than what He started with!" Gave me hope this morning. Sometimes ministry seems like a lot of work, God doesn't always show the fruit of our labors, but God's word never returns void. At the end of the day, there may have been thousands fed, and hundreds of pounds of food produced, much much of it will simply vanish never to be seen again, but God in his kingdom economy (the leftover food) gives us more supernatural if not physical resources than what we started with if we are faithful to carry out the tasks he has called us to do. He does not always allow us to see the impact, but every time his will is accomplished, it is a greater thing that has happened. This reminded me that no small thing done in the name of Jesus ever returns void.

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