Matthew 15:13
But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
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(13) Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted.—The disciples could hardly fail to connect the words with the parable which they had heard so lately. The system and the men that they had been taught to regard as pre-eminently religious were, after all, in their Master’s judgment, as the tares and not as the wheat (Matthew 13:37-38). So far as they were a sect or party, His Father had not planted them. They, too, were left, according to the teaching of that parable, to grow until the harvest, but their end was sure—they should be “rooted out.” The words which proclaim their doom were, however, intentionally general in their form. In that divine judgment which works through the world’s history, foreshadowing the issues of the last great day, that doom is written on every system, party, sect which originates in man’s zeal, in narrowness, in self-will. It has not been planted by the Father, and therefore it is doomed to perish.

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.Every plant ... - Religious doctrine is not inaptly compared to a plant. See 1 Corinthians 3:6-8. It is planted in the mind for the purpose of producing fruit in the life, or right conduct. Jesus here says that all those doctrines of which his Father was not the author must be rooted up or corrected. The false doctrines of the Pharisees, therefore, must be attacked, and it was no wonder if they were indignant. It could not be helped. It was his duty to attack them. He was not surprised that they were enraged; but, notwithstanding their opposition, their doctrine should be destroyed.13. But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up—They are offended, are they? Heed it not: their corrupt teaching is already doomed: the garden of the Lord upon earth, too long cumbered with their presence, shall yet be purged of them and their accursed system: yea, and whatsoever is not of the planting of My heavenly Father, the great Husbandman (Joh 15:1), shall share the same fate. See Poole on "Matthew 15:13".

But he answered, and said,.... As being unconcerned at their rage, and having nothing to fear from them; and being well satisfied, that what he had said was right, and would produce proper effects, he gave his disciples this for answer:

every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up; which may be understood either of things, or of persons: it may have regard to doctrines and ordinances; and the meaning be, that whatever doctrine is not delivered by God, or whatever ordinance is not instituted by him; whatever is not of heaven, but of man, of man's devising, and of human imposition, as the traditions of the elders, must be opposed and rejected; and sooner or later will be utterly rooted up, and destroyed; as will all the false notions, corrupt worship, and errors, and heresies of men, in God's own time: or it may respect persons. There are some plants, which are planted by Christ's Father, which is in heaven; these are the elect of God, who are trees of righteousness; the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. These are planted by the river of God's love, in the person of Christ, in the likeness of his death and resurrection; they are transplanted out of a state of nature, are ingrafted into Christ, have the graces of the Spirit implanted in their souls, and are themselves planted in the courts of the Lord, in a Gospel church state; and being watered with the dews of grace, appear to be choice plants, plants of renown, pleasant ones, very fruitful, and which shall never perish, or be rooted, and plucked up, but there are others, like these Pharisees, hypocrites, formal professors, and heretics, who pretend to much religion and holiness, make a show of the leaves of profession, but have not the fruit of grace; these get into churches, and are outwardly and ministerially planted there; but being never rooted in Christ, nor partake of his grace, in time they wither, and die away; or persecution arising because of the Word, or truth being dispensed in so clear and glaring a light, that they cannot bear it; they are offended with it, and so are detected, discovered, and rooted up and it is necessary that truth should be freely spoken, as it was here by Christ, that such plants might be rooted out; for these words are said by Christ in justification of his conduct. So the Jews speak of God, as a planter, and of rooting up what he does not like.

"The holy, blessed God (say they (e)), "plants" trees in this world; if they prosper, it is well; if they do not prosper, , "he roots them up", and plants them even many times.''

And elsewhere it is said (f),

"let the master of the vineyard come, and consume its thorns: the gloss on it is, the holy, blessed God; for the vineyard of the Lord of hosts, is the house of Israel, and he will consume, and take away the thorns of the vineyard.''

(e) Zohar in Gen. fol. 105. 3.((f) T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 83. 2.

But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
Matthew 15:13. The correct interpretation is the ordinary one (being also that of Ewald and Keim), according to which φυτεία is taken as a figurative way of expressing the teaching. The fact of Jesus having attacked their teaching, in Matthew 15:11, had given offence to the Pharisees. Consequently He now explains why it is that He does not spare such teaching: every doctrine, He says, that is not of God, that is merely human in its origin, will pass away and perish, as the result, that is, of the Messianic reformation which is in the course of developing itself. Nothing is said about the Pharisees personally (whom Chrysostom supposes to be included in what is said about the teaching) till Matthew 15:14. This in answer to Fritzsche, Olshausen, de Wette, Hilgenfeld, Bleek, who find in the words a prediction of the extirpation of the Pharisees (“characters of this stamp will soon have played out their game,” de Wette). What is expressed figuratively by means of πᾶσα φυτεία, ἣν οὐκ ἐφύτευσεν ὁ πατήρ μου, is the same thing that, in Matthew 15:9, is designated literally as διδασκαλίας ἐντάλματα ἀνθρώπων.

On φυτεία, planting (Plat. Theag. p. 121 C; Xen. Oec. vii. 20, xix. 1), i.e. in this instance: something planted, comp. Ignatius, ad Philad. III. ad Trall. xi, where, however, it is not used with regard to false teaching, but with reference to false teachers. In classic Greek the form is φύτευμα, or φυτόν.

Matthew 15:13. ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς, etc.: the disciples were afraid, but Jesus was indignant, and took up high ground.—φυτεία for φύτευμα, a plant, “not a wild flower but a cultivated plant” (Camb. G. T.), refers to the Rabbinical tradition; natural figure for doctrine, and so used both by Jesus and Greeks (vide Schöttgen and Kypke). Kypke remarks: “pertinet huc parabola περὶ τοῦ σπείροντος”.—ὁ πατήρ μου: the statement in the relative clause is really the main point, that the tradition in question was a thing with which God as Jesus conceived Him had nothing to do. This is an important text for Christ’s doctrine of the Fatherhood as taught by discriminating use of the term πατήρ. The idea of God implied in the Corban tradition was that His interest was antagonistic to that of humanity. In Christ’s idea of God the two interests are coincident. This text should be set beside Matthew 12:50, which might easily be misunderstood as teaching an opposite view.—ἐκριζωθήσεται. This is what will be, and what Jesus wishes and works for: uprooting, destruction, root and branch, no compromise, the thing wholly evil. The response of the traditionalists was crucifixion.

13. Every plant] Not a wild flower, but a cultivated plant or tree; the word occurs here only in N. T.; in LXX. version of O. T. it is used of the vine, the most carefully cultivated plant; 2 Kings 19:29; Ezekiel 17:7; Micah 1:6; and in one other passage, Genesis 21:33, of the tamarisk. Here the plant cultivated by human hands—the vine that is not the true vine of Israel—is the doctrine of the Pharisees.

Matthew 15:13. Φυτεία, plant) Doctrine, or rather man. The φυτὸν is so by nature, the φυτεία by care.—Πατὴρ, κ.τ.λ., Father, etc.) See John 15:1-2.—ἐκριζωθήσεται, shall he rooted up) And this shall be the result of their being offended with Christ. Such a plant, however fair in appearance, is without Christ (extra Christum).

Verse 13. - Every plant, etc. The answer of Christ signifies - Do not be alarmed by the displeasure of the Pharisees, and at my opposition to their teaching; the system which they support is ungodly and shall be soon destroyed. Christ, as often, puts the statement in a parabolic form, using two images, one derived from the vegetable kingdom in this verse, and one from human life in ver. 14. Plant (φυτεία); plantation. The act of planting, and then by metonymy the thing planted. It here signifies the sect and doctrine of the Pharisees, the persons themselves, and that which they taught. The comparison of men and trees, plant and doctrine, is a common biblical metaphor (comp. Psalm 1; Isaiah 5:7; Matthew 7:16-20; Luke 6:43, 44, etc.). The traditions of the rabbis were plants which my heavenly Father hath not planted. They were of human, not Divine, growth; and the men themselves, even though originally planted in holy soil, had degenerated, and become not only unfruitful, but pernicious. So the Lord speaks by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2:21), "I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?" Shall be rooted up. Our Lord is not referring to the judgment of the last day (Matthew 3:10), nor to any forcible destruction effected by human agency; he means that the system must pass away entirely to make room for a better growth, even the gospel. The Jews would not see that the Law was a schoolmaster to bring men to Christ; they deemed that their ceremonies and rites were to be permanent and universal; and this, more than anything, impeded the reception of Christ's claims, and made men utterly averse from his teaching. It was in vain that Jesus proclaimed, "If ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me" (John 5:46). The very Law, as handled and obscured by the Pharisees, was made an obstacle to the truth. Matthew 15:13
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