Matthew 15:10
And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
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(10) He called the multitude, and said unto them.—The act was more startling and suggestive than appears on the surface. He did not appeal to the authority of great names or of a higher tribunal. He removed the case, as it were, to another court, which His opponents did not recognise, and turned from the disputes and traditions of the schools to the unperverted conscience of the common people.

Matthew 15:10-11. And he called the multitude — Having shown the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, and condemned them for the unwarrantable stress which they laid on their vain and precarious traditions, he took this opportunity to undeceive the people, and let them see how insignificant that outward strictness was on which the Pharisees insisted. And said, Hear and understand — From these words, and those recorded Mark 7:16, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear, all spoken to the multitude, it is evident that, in our Lord’s judgment, the whole multitude was capable of understanding those things which the Pharisees did not understand, and by which their traditions and those of the elders were overthrown. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man — It is not the kind or quality of our food, nor the want of cleanness of hands when we eat it, that affects the soul with any moral pollution. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, Romans 14:17. A man is defiled by that by which guilt is contracted before God, and the man is rendered offensive to him, and unfitted for communion with him. Now what we eat, if we do not eat unseasonably and immoderately, does not produce this effect, for to the pure all things are pure, Titus 1:15. The Pharisees carried their ideas concerning the ceremonial pollutions which arose from eating certain forbidden meats much further than the law intended, and burdened it with additions of their own, which our Saviour witnesses against, intending hereby to pave the way for a repeal of the ceremonial law in that matter. But that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man — We are polluted, not by the meat we eat with unwashen hands, but by the words we speak from unsanctified hearts. Christ, in a former discourse, had laid a great stress upon our words, Matthew 12:36, which was intended for reproof and warning to those that cavilled at him. This, here, is intended for reproof and warning to those that cavilled at and censured the disciples. The latter did not defile themselves with what they ate, but the Pharisees defiled themselves with what they spoke spitefully and censoriously of them. Observe, reader, those who charge guilt upon others for transgressing the commandments of men, many times bring greater guilt upon themselves by transgressing the law of God against rash judging. Those most defile themselves who are most forward to censure the defilements of others.

15:10-20 Christ shows that the defilement they ought to fear, was not from what entered their mouths as food, but from what came out of their mouths, which showed the wickedness of their hearts. Nothing will last in the soul but the regenerating graces of the Holy Spirit; and nothing should be admitted into the church but what is from above; therefore, whoever is offended by a plain, seasonable declaration of the truth, we should not be troubled at it. The disciples ask to be better taught as to this matter. Where a weak head doubts concerning any word of Christ, an upright heart and a willing mind seek for instruction. It is the heart that is desperately wicked, Jer 17:9, for there is no sin in word or deed, which was not first in the heart. They all come out of the man, and are fruits of that wickedness which is in the heart, and is wrought there. When Christ teaches, he will show men the deceitfulness and wickedness of their own hearts; he will teach them to humble themselves, and to seek to be cleansed in the Fountain opened for sin and uncleanness.See also Mark 7:15-17.

And he called the multitude - In opposition to the doctrines of the Pharisees, the Saviour took occasion to show them that the great source of pollution was the heart. They supposed that external things chiefly defiled a man. On this all their doctrines about purification were founded. This opinion of the Jews it was of great importance to correct. The Saviour took occasion, therefore, to direct the people to the true source of defilement - their own hearts. He particularly directed them to it as of importance - "Hear and understand."

10. And he called the multitude, and said unto them—The foregoing dialogue, though in the people's hearing, was between Jesus and the pharisaic cavillers, whose object was to disparage Him with the people. But Jesus, having put them down, turns to the multitude, who at this time were prepared to drink in everything He said, and with admirable plainness, strength, and brevity, lays down the great principle of real pollution, by which a world of bondage and uneasiness of conscience would be dissipated in a moment, and the sense of sin be reserved for deviations from the holy and eternal law of God.

Hear and understand:

See Poole on "Matthew 15:11".

And he called the multitude,.... Having silenced the Scribes and Pharisees, and judging it not worth his while to say any more to men so obstinate and perverse; who were not open to conviction, nor would attend to any argument or reason, though ever so clear and strong, against their darling notions; he leaves them, as both disliking them, and despairing of them, and calls to the common people; who, through their great veneration for these men, upon their coming withdrew, and stood at a distance; nor indeed would they admit them very near unto them, lest they should be polluted by them: Christ, I say, calls to these to come nearer to him, hoping better of them, and knowing that they were more tractable, and teachable; and that there were some among them, that were to be brought off of their former principles and prejudices, to embrace him, and the truths delivered by him:

and said unto them, hear and understand; this he said, partly, by way of reflection upon the learned Scribes and Pharisees, who, with all their learning, could not hear him so as to understand him; and partly to excite the attention of the multitude to what he had to say; as also to show, that barely to hear with the outward hearing of the ear, will be of no service, unless what is heard is understood; and that the way to understand, is to hear.

{4} And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:

(4) Christ teaches us that the hypocrisy of false teachers who deceive our souls is not to be endured at all, not even in small matters, and there is no reason why their office or position should blind our eyes: otherwise we are likely to perish with them.

Matthew 15:10. Ἐκείνους μὲν ἐπιστομίσας καὶ καταισχύνας ἀφῆκεν, ὡς ἀνιάτους, τρέπει δὲ τὸν λόγον πρὸς τὸν ὄχλον, ὡς ἀξιολογογώτερον, Euth. Zigabenus. During the discussion the ὄχλος had been standing in the background; He invites them to come near.

Matthew 15:10-11. Appeal to the people: a mortal offence to the Pharisees and scribes, but made inevitable by publicity of attack, the multitude being in the background and overhearing all.—ἀκόυετε καὶ συνίετε: abrupt, laconic address; a fearless, resolute tone audible.

10. he called the multitude] The moment our Lord turns to the people, His teaching is by parables.

This appeal to the multitude as worthier than the Pharisees to receive the divine truths is significant of the popular character of the Kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 15:10. Προσκαλεσάμενος, having called to Him) All were not always attentive. The Pharisees were not worthy that this should be said to them; see Matthew 15:14.—τὸν ὄχλον, the multitude) Lest they should be deceived by the speech of the Pharisees.

Verse 10. - He called the multitude. Jesus had now finally broken with the Pharisaical party; he had carried the war into their camp. It was necessary that those who had followed these false teachers should know, on the one hand, to what irreligion, immorality, and profanity their doctrines led, and, on the other, should learn the unadulterated truth, "pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father." So he calls around him the crowd of common people, who from respect had stood aloof during the previous controversy, and teaches them a great moral truth which concerns every human being. Hear, and understand. The distinction which he was about to enunciate was difficult for persons trained in Pharisaical dogmas to receive and understand; he therefore calls special attention to his coming words. The depreciation of ceremonial cleansings might easily be misunderstood. Jesus would say - There is indeed cleansing necessary for all men; but it does not consist in outward washings, but in inward holiness. In what follows, our Lord says nothing definitely about the distinction between clean and unclean meats laid down in the Mosaic Law; he would only show that impurity in the moral sense came from within. This is leading up to the principle enunciated by the apostle, "Every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it be received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified through the Word of God and prayer" (1 Timothy 4:4, 5). Matthew 15:10
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