Matthew 15:12
Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) Then came his disciples.—The sequence of events appears in Mark 7:17. The Pharisees drew back as in holy horror at the boldness with which the new Teacher set Himself, not only above their traditions, but above laws which they looked on as divine, and therefore permanent. The multitude heard in silence a teaching so unlike that with which they had been familiar from their youth. Even the disciples were half perplexed at the teaching itself, half afraid of what might be its immediate consequences. They came with their question, “Knowest thou not that the Pharisees were offended?” Had their Master calculated the consequences of thus attacking, not individual members or individual traditions of the party, but its fundamental principle, that which was, so to speak, its very raison d’être?

Matthew 15:12-13. Then came his disciples — Namely, when he was come into the house, apart from the multitude; and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, &c. — The apostles, it seems, would gladly have conciliated the good-will of the Pharisees, thinking it might be of service to their cause; and thought it strange that their Master should say that which he knew would give them so much offence. Surely, they thought, if he had considered how provoking such a saying would be, he would not have uttered it. But he knew what he said, and to whom he said it, and what would be the effect of it; and he hereby teaches us, that though in indifferent things, we must be tender of giving offence, yet we must not, for fear of that, neglect to declare any truth, or enforce any duty. Truth must be owned, and duty must be done; and if any be offended, it is their own fault. Offence is not given, but taken. But he said, Every plant — Or rather, plantation, as φυτεια is more properly rendered. As if he had said, Be they as angry as they will, you need not be afraid of them, for they and their doctrine shall perish together, being neither of them from God. Not only the corrupt opinions and superstitious practices of the Pharisees, but their sect, and way, and constitution were plants not of God’s planting: the rules of their profession were not his institutions, but owed their original to pride and formality. And the people of the Jews in general, though planted a noble vine, were now become the degenerate plant of a strange vine. God disowned them as not of his planting.

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.The Pharisees were offended - They were so zealous of their traditions that they could not endure that their absurdities should be exposed.12. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?—They had given vent to their irritation, and perhaps threats, not to our Lord Himself, from whom they seem to have slunk away, but to some of the disciples, who report it to their Master. The Pharisees’ offence was, without question, at his making so light a matter at their washings; not that they understood our Saviour as speaking against the distinction of meats, which was established by the ceremonial law, not as yet abrogated. There is nothing doth more offend hypocrites than pressing spiritual worship and homage to God, and the slighting of all external rites and actions, not attended with a suitable inward homage and devotion of heart.

Then came his disciples, and said unto him,.... That is, after he had dismissed the people, and was come into a private house; see Mark 7:17 his disciples came to him, being alone, full of concern, for what he had said to the Pharisees, and before all the people; and not so well understanding it themselves.

Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying?, that they set aside the commandments of God, by observing the traditions of the elders; or that they were hypocrites; and that the prophecy of Isaiah, which describes such persons, belonging to them; or that not what goes into, but what comes out of a man, defiles him: whichever it was they have respect unto, or it may be to the whole, they seem to wish Christ had not said it; because the Pharisees were, as they thought, grieved and troubled at it, as being contrary to true religion and piety; and lest they should be so stumbled, as no more to attend, and so all hopes of bringing them over to the faith of Christ be lost; and chiefly, because they perceived they were made exceeding angry, and were highly provoked; so that they might fear that both Christ, and they themselves, would feel the effects of their wrath and rage; and perhaps it was with some such view, that he would take some prudential step that he might not fall into their hands, that they acquaint him with it.

Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 15:12. Προσελθ.] Matthew does not say where? According to Mark 7:17, this took place in the house.

τὸν λόγον] Fritzsche and many more take this as referring to Matthew 15:3-9. It is to understand it, with Euth. Zigabenus, as pointing to the saying in Matthew 15:11 (Paulus, de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bleek). For this, addressed as it was to the multitude, must have been peculiarly displeasing to the Pharisees; and ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον would, on any other supposition than the above, be deprived of its significance as stating the ground of offence.

Matthew 15:12-14. Disciples report impression made on Pharisees by the word spoken to the people. Not in Mark.

12. the Pharisees were offended] A proof of the influence of the Pharisees. The disciples believed that Christ would be concerned to have offended those who stood so high in popular favour.

Matthew 15:12. οἶδας, knowest thou[688]) They perceived the omniscience of Jesus.—ἘΣΚΑΝΔΑΛΊΣΘΗΣΑΝ, were offended[689]) Having taken, or rather laid in wait, for offence.

[688] Rather Thou knowést; for the comment, which follows, shows that Beng. did not read these words with an interrogation.—ED.

[689] And regard Thee with aversion in consequence.—V. g

He does so, however, both in his Greek New Testament and German Version.—(I. B.)

Verse 12. - Then came his disciples. Jesus had been speaking in some open spot; he now leaves the crowd, and, entering a house with his disciples, instructs them further in private (Mark 7:17). These had been greatly alarmed at their Master's antagonism to the popular party, and, on the first occasion that presented itself, expostulated with him on the danger incurred by this hostile attitude. This saying (τὸν λόγον); the word. What he had said to the multitude (ver. 11). The Pharisees had cared less for the denunciation addressed to themselves (vers. 3-9), but when he interfered with their doctrinal supremacy over the people, they were offended, they took exception to p the teaching, believing that they detected therein an insidious attack on the Law. In their view, spiritualization of any of its enactments was equivalent to its subversion. But, as St. Gregory observes, "If offence arises from the statement of the truth, it is more expedient that offence be permitted to arise than that the truth should be abandoned" ('Hom. 7. in Ezek.'). Matthew 15:12
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