Matthew 15
Sermon Bible
Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,

Matthew 15:5-6

I. There ought to be no conflict between the Divine and social claims. The family has its claims; society has its claims; God has His claims, and they are all righteous. They are all on the same line of rectitude. There ought to be no conflict between them. This conflict exists among us because the claims of society are often unjust. God's claims are never unjust.

II. Those who most devoutly recognize the Divine claims are the most faithful in their discharge of social claims.

III. The discharge of the one kind of claims should not be used as a pretext for the neglect of the others.

J. Owen, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xvi., p. 260.

References: Matthew 15:1-20.—A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, p. 79; Parker, Inner Life of Christ, vol. ii., p. 321. Matthew 15:3-9.—F. W. Robertson, The Human Race and Other Sermons, p. 297. Matthew 15:6.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xviii., p. 22; Durrant, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 241.

Matthew 15:7These words call us to look at three points, the first of which is the importance of plain speaking on all questions affecting the interests of truth. Jesus Christ was pre-eminently a plain speaker. He did not round His sentences for the purpose of smoothing His way. When He had occasion to administer rebuke, or to point out the errors of those who were round about Him, He spoke keenly, incisively, with powerful effect upon the mind and conscience of those who heard Him. In the text He calls certain persons hypocrites. He does not say behind their backs that they were hypocrites, but He looked straight at them and right through them, and said, "Ye hypocrites." If we had more such plain speaking it would be an advantage to us all.

I. Two things are required in the plain speaker. (1) Personal rightness. "Let him that is without sin cast the first stone." (2) Moral fearlessness. Our courage is not always equal to our convictions. We know the right, and yet dare not pursue it. The right word suggests itself to our lips, and our lips dare not pronounce it.

II. The second point to which the text calls our attention is the far-seeing spirit of prophecy. Jesus Christ said to the men of His day, "Esaias prophesied of you." Observe the unity of the moral world; observe the unchangeableness of God's laws; see how right is ever right and wrong is ever wrong; how the centuries make no difference in the quality of righteousness, and fail to work any improvement in the deformity of evil.

III. The third point to which we are called in these words is the high authority of the righteous censor. When Jesus Christ spoke in this case, He did not speak altogether in His own name. He used the name of Esaias. All time is on the side of the righteous man; all history puts weapons into the hands of the man who would be valiant for truth. When you speak a right word, the prophets speak through you, the apostles prolong the strain, and the grand old martyrs seal it with their blood.

Parker, City Temple, 1871, p. 305.

References: Matthew 15:8, Matthew 15:9.—H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xix., p. 72. Matthew 15:9.—W. H. Murray, The Fruits of the Spirit, pp. 212, 235. Matthew 15:12.—J. Keble, Sermons on Various Occasions, p. 312.

Matthew 15:13God the Uprooter of Sects.

I. The disciples needed this lesson, that they might not be startled by the fading away of much which had seemed to them fair and vigorous, but still more that they might understand what there was in the Jewish soil which could not be rooted out—what there was that would spread its fibres more widely, genially, and send out higher branches wherein the fowls of the air might dwell. The sect of the Pharisees, our Lord says, His heavenly Father had not planted. The disciples of Jesus learnt gradually from His lips that they were called and chosen out to preach to their own countrymen that the Son of David and the Son of Abraham had come to bind together in one publicans and sinners—Jews, Galileans, Samaritans. With this message they were to go forth, with this Gospel to Jews and Gentiles. As they bore it, they soon discovered that the natural and necessary antagonists of it were the sects; that Sadducees and Pharisees hated it equally; that they saw in it the destruction of the sect-principle; that they felt they could only maintain even a temporary ascendency by fighting with this rival as for life and death. Then, when they found how mighty this sect-principle was, and what numbers were pledged to it, they must have recollected the words which had been spoken to them: "Every plant, which My heavenly Father has not planted, shall be rooted out."

II. There is a plant in your heart and mine which our heavenly Father has not planted, and which must be rooted out. It is that same plant of self-seeking, of opinionativeness, of party-spirit, which has shed its poison over the Church and over the world. It springs in us from that same root of unbelief in One who is the head of us all, whose life is the common life of all, out of which all sects and parties have proceeded; from that root of pride which has led to the amazing delusion that God has not called us to be His servants and children, but that we are taking Him to be our Lord and Father. If once by His grace we are delivered from that presumption, we shall not doubt that He has taken care of His own name and His own kingdom in this earth of ours, however ignorantly His creatures have been setting themselves to defend and exalt one or the other.

F. D. Maurice, Sermons, vol. iv., p. 1.

References: Matthew 15:13.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vii., No. 423; Preacher's Monthly, vol. vi., p. 48. Matthew 15:14.—Archbishop Benson, Boy Life: Sundays in Wellington College, p. 67. Matthew 15:16.—T. Arnold, Sermons, vol. v., p. 63. Matthew 15:19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiii., No. 732; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. v., p. 461; H.W. Bellows, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxii., p. 125. Matthew 15:21-28.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 58, vol. vi., p. 143; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. ii., p. 98; Preacher's Monthly, vol. iii., p. 297; T. Birkett Dover, The Ministry of Mercy, p. 148; J. Wells, Bible Children, p. 213; Phillips Brooks, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxi., p. 312; G. Macdonald, Miracles of our Lord, p. 130. Matthew 15:21-31.—Parker, Inner Life of Christ, vol. ii., p. 331.

Matthew 15:22This story admits us into one of those curious and subtle phases of character in Christ which, when dwelt on and understood, make Him very near to us.

I. We ask why He said these harsh and cruel things so unlike Himself; and the answer we may give is this: That He desired to get to the root of the woman's nature—a very human and natural desire. We lose the sense of what Christ was by removing Him too far from our common human nature, by thinking that He could not share in many of our ordinary impulses because He was too near to God. As if the Divine on earth would not become far more intensely human than any one of us can understand.

II. Christ's object was not only to find out that the woman loved and believed in Him, but also to kindle and to sting into vivid life the spiritual power of faith which He saw in the woman's heart. For not till that was kindled could He do her the kindness she asked. To awake that Christ gave trial, as God gives it, and the waking of faith was well purchased at the price of a little pain. The woman's soul was ennobled for ever.

III. The story illustrates the way in which God often deals with men, and it illustrates the faithful way in which men should accept that dealing. There are some who need kindness to make them love and trust God, and God is kind and makes life smooth for such. But there are others whom persistent kindness would weaken, whose characters need sharp treatment and development. And thus they learn the prayer and the perseverance of faith, which does not call itself faith, but which is infinitely more intense in reality than that sleepy trust in God which, believing that all is right, goes drawling through an inactive life without an ideal, without a noble sadness, without a burning desire to live and know we live.

S. A. Brooke, The Spirit of the Christian Life, p. 164.

References: Matthew 15:22.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. xii., p. 90; R. Glover, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxii., p. 228.

Matthew 15:22-28Mother's Love.

I. Our Lord judged this woman after He had tried her, as gold is tried in the fire. Why He did so we cannot tell. Perhaps He wanted by the trial to make her a better woman, to bring out something noble which lay in her heart unknown to her, though not to Him who knew what was in man. Perhaps He wished to show His disciples, who looked down on her as a heathen dog, that a heathen, too, could have faith, humility, nobleness, and grace of heart. Be that as it may, our Lord was seemingly stern. "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." And this woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phœnician by nation—of a mixed race of people, notoriously low and profligate, and old enemies of the Jews.

II. Yet in the poor heathen mother's heart there rose up a whole heaven of perfect humility, faith, adoration. If she were base and mean, yet our Lord was great and wise and good; and that was all the more reason why He should be magnanimous, generous, condescending, like a true King, to the basest and meanest of His subjects. She asked not for money or honour or this world's fine things; but simply for her child's health, her child's deliverance from some mysterious and degrading illness. Surely there was no harm in asking for that; and so, with her quick Syrian art, she answers our Lord in those wonderful words—so full of humility, of reverence, and yet with a certain archness, almost playfulness in them, as it were turning our Lord's words against Him, and by that very thing showing how utterly she trusted Him: "Truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table." By her words she was justified. By those few words she proved her utter faith in our Lord's power and goodness—perhaps her faith in His Godhead. By those words she proved the gentleness and humility, the graciousness and gracefulness, of her own character. And so she conquered, as the blessed Lord loves to be conquered, by the prayer of faith, of humility, of confidence, of earnestness, and she had her reward.

C. Kingsley, All Saints' Day and other Sermons, p. 76.

Reference: Matthew 15:22, Matthew 15:23.—E. Bersier, Sermons, 2nd series, p. 159.

Matthew 15:23Out of many lessons to be drawn from the terrible and touching narrative of the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent we notice three.

I. With respect to the disciples. We may learn from what is not written as well as from what is written what a lesson they received upon want of sympathy. They fancied they understood the whole question, and that they could read in our Lord's unfathomable expression the image of their own cold, hard thoughts. We do not read that any words passed between our Lord and His disciples on the subject of this troublesome woman. But what a veil fell from the eyes of these men (so satisfied that they were doing their own duty and the will of their Master) when a few moments later they heard Him exclaim, "O daughter, great is thy faith." The very quality which our Lord was always telling them was so necessary for them and so wanting in them lay in a rich overflowing store in the heart of this heathenish woman.

II. The lesson of perseverance in prayer. The history gives us a picture of a person misled by appearances—(1) from want of knowing enough of Christ, and (2) from not yet having risen to that intensity of earnestness and full stretch of faith of which our nature is really capable. There is in Christ the stern goodness of a man of powerful insight; not the softness which, without doing any good, lavishes blessings before they are appreciated, but that paternal sternness which will have us brace ourselves up for a resolute, sustained effort. The prodigal son has a father's welcome, but he must come home; he must come all the way. Like this woman, we may hear the words, "Be it unto thee even as thou wilt," but not till we have deserved the earlier words, "Great is thy faith."

III. We learn something even from the daughter. Evil thoughts are to be intensely guarded against, as the ultimate source of all the sin and misery of this world. It may be that this demon-tormented girl was no sinner above the rest. But the spectacle daily before the mother's eyes was the fruit of sin somewhere, and that sin was the fruit of evil thoughts. If it was not a visitation upon individual evil, all the more fearful is the warning against all sin.

Archbishop Benson, Boy Life: Sundays in Wellington College, p. 251.

References: Matthew 15:23.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 529; Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 285. Matthew 15:24, Matthew 15:25.—Ibid., Sermons, vol. xxx., No. 1,797. Matthew 15:26, Matthew 15:27.—Ibid., vol. xxii., No. 1,309. Matthew 15:27.—Ibid., vol. xii., No. 715; Evening by Evening, p. 87; J. Keble, Sermons from Lent to Passiontide, p. 140.

Matthew 15:28The Greatness of Faith.

I. Observe first, how widely prevalent the principle is which comes to its consummation in the giving of Himself by Christ to men. Everywhere faith, or the capacity of receiving, has a power to claim and command the thing which it needs. Nature would furnish us many an exhibition of the principle. You plant a healthy seed in the ground. The seed's health consists simply in this, that it has the power of true relations to the soil you plant it in. And how these spring days bear us witness that the soil acknowledges the power; no sooner does it feel the seed than it replies; it unlocks all its treasures of force; the little hungry black kernel is its master. "O seed, great is thy faith," the ground seems to say: "be it unto thee even as thou wilt," and so the miracle of growth begins.

II. Here was this woman whose faith had such a power over Jesus that He could not resist it. The power of weakness over strength comes to perfection in Jesus. Could there be a more complete picture of it than shines out in His own story of the shepherd and the sheep? The shepherd has folded his ninety and nine; everything is safe, and strong, and prosperous; he stands with his hand upon the sheep-fold gate; and then, just as he seems wrapped up in the satisfaction and completeness of the sight, there comes, so light that no ear except his can hear it, the cry of one poor lost sheep off in the mountains, and it summons him with an irresistible challenge, and his staff is in his hand instantly, and he turns his back on everything else, to be the slave of that one lost sheep till it is found. What a wonderful, and everlasting, and universal story that parable is! Faith is the King's knowledge of His own kingdom. A weak man who has no faith in Christ is a king who does not know his own royalty. But the soul which in its need cries out and claims its need's dominion—the soul that dares to take the prerogative of its own feebleness and cry aloud, "Come to me, O Christ, for I need Thee," finds itself justified. Its bold and humble cry is honoured and answered instantly; instantly by its side the answer comes: "Great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?"

Phillips Brooks, Sermons in English Churches, p. 157.

I. This woman's earnestness is an example, as her success is an encouragement to us. She was importunate because she was earnest. If there be any boldness, any forwardness, any obtruding of her case on Jesus, it is to be imputed to this, that—a mother with a mother's heart—she had a daughter grievously vexed with a devil. Be followers of me, she says. Let faith be earnest in prayer. The more the bow is bent the more the arrow flies.

II. Observe the trials to which Christ put her earnestness and faith. These were three: (1) His silence; (2) His apparent refusal; (3) His apparent reproach of her. That was a strange blow from the hand which was to bleed on Calvary for the chief of sinners, and bind up the broken-hearted, not breaking the bruised reed, nor quenching the smoking flax. In truth, it was time for her to pray, "Lord, help me;" high time, poor soul, for God to help her. And He did it, and fulfilled to her, as He will do to all who seek Him in their hour of extremity, His promise, "As thy days, so shall thy strength be." As the eagle rising on the tempest that beats down birds of feeble wing, and sends them to roost in covert of bush and rock, flies highest in the storm, so did she; with holy zeal as well as power, she seizes on our Lord's figure and turns it to her own advantage. His purpose, which was a gracious one all along, is now gained. He had sought to draw her out, and bring forth that latent faith the language of which was music to His ear, gratifying the longings of His loving heart, and glorifying the power and grace of God. That purpose gained, he drops the mantle. And now he reveals Himself to her, as He shall to all who will not let Him go until He bless them, crowning her faith with the gracious answer, "O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt."

T. Guthrie, The Way to Life, p. 210.


I. the woman's humble confession.

II. Her thankfulness for the smallest mercy.

III. Her plea; she appeals to our Lord's generosity.

T. Guthrie, The Way to Life, p. 228.

Consider the four principal cases in which our Lord emphatically commends the faith of those who come to Him for succour.

I. The first is the case of the man sick of the palsy, described in the second chapter of St. Mark. The sick of the palsy was borne to Jesus by four men, and "when they could not come nigh Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was, and let down the bed whereon the sick man lay." The hindrances to the accomplishment of their purpose were of an outward and material kind.

II. Again, the blind son of Timæus, as he sat begging at the gate of Jericho, was interrupted in his cries for mercy by those who surrounded him. In his case, again, it is persevering faith which our Lord rewards, and the obstacles to success arise from the opposition and interference of others.

III. In the case of the centurion who desired the cure of his servant, we are not distinctly told of any impediments which would keep him from seeking help from Jesus; we are only left to infer them from his own language. His faith is commended in the strongest language, because the hindrance which would naturally have kept him from Christ was the enjoyment of prosperity and power.

IV. The incident narrated in the text, which is rightly considered as the strongest instance of faith triumphant over difficulties, is different from any of these. Here the obstacles to success are interposed by Christ Himself. Still the woman persisted, and still she was refused, no longer by silence, but by language more harsh and discouraging than silence itself, till at last, when she turns the very reason for the refusal into a proof of her need, and her confidence that Christ will supply it, He speaks to her in words of most gracious commendation; He grants her petition without any further delay. Once more, then, we see the victory ascribed to faith, but the difficulties here overcome are those of delay and disappointment.

Bishop Cotton, Marlborough Sermons, p. 196.

The Canaanite Mother a Type of the Gentile Church.

I. Note first the race and country of the believing mother. In the narrative Christ is said to have departed to the coasts or borders of Tyre and Sidon, and the woman to have "come out of the same coasts." St. Matthew adds that she was a "woman of Canaan." And St. Mark tells us that she was to be considered a Greek (that is, by religion, and habits), "a Syro-Phœnician by nation." These brief notes of country and origin embrace every great division of the then known Gentile world, considered as to position relatively to Israel, and still more regarded (as the Old Testament prophets always regarded them) with a view to their open hostility or hollow and treacherous alliances.

II. Now for a brief summary of the interview. (1) It is the second Adam, and the Church the second Eve. Humble, repentant, and believing, she comes from the long slavery of her idols. She acknowledged that the true solution of the physical and moral curse of this world was the supremacy of him whom the Son of David, and He alone, was empowered to overthrow. (2) Her reception was as remarkable as her appeal. "He answered her not a word." The religion of Christ had at first no word for the Gentile, and its subsequent extension was only an instance of that triumphant wisdom of Heaven which brought the greatest good out of the greatest evil, and enlightened the world by Jewish blindness. The objections of the Lord were twofold; one taken from the limits of His commission, and one from the degradation of the object. And I need not remind you how perfectly the wider parallel corresponds; how the body of the Gentiles, the oppressed of Satan, were excluded from Divine favour, partly by the mysterious limitations of Providence, and partly by the enormity of their own pollutions. (3) The woman insinuated that the Lord had power above His commission; and by that omnipotence which ruled the world it had created, she invoked Him: "Lord, help me." (4) In her words, "Truth, Lord," etc., all Christianity is concentrated in one happy sentence. Men from deep places can see the stars at noonday, and from the utter depths of her self-abasement she catches the whole blessed mystery of Heaven. With what joy did the blessed Teacher see Himself foiled in that high argument! how gladly did He yield the victory to that invincible faith!

W. Archer Butler, Sermons Doctrinal and Practical, p. 155.

Matthew 15:28I. The great faith of this woman is to be traced in her humble confession. (1) She confesses her misery when imploring the mercy of Christ. (2) She confesses her weakness when imploring the help of Christ. (3) She confesses her unworthiness by admitting the mission of Christ.

II. The great faith of this woman is to be traced in her fervent prayer. (1) Mark her recognition of the character of Christ. (2) Observe her confidence in the power of Christ. (3) Notice her earnestness in seeking the aid of Christ.

III. The great faith of this woman is to be discovered by her determined perseverance: (1) Her faith overcame the difficulty of obtaining a personal interview with Christ. (2) Her faith overcame the singularly apparent coldness of Christ. (3) Her perseverance overcame the limitation of the usual ministrations of Christ.

J. Wonnacott, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xvii., p. 156.

References: Matthew 15:28.—J. Edmunds, Sixty Sermons, p. 123; S. Greg, A Layman's Legacy, p. 208; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iii., p. 128; J. Wonnacott, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xvii., p. 156; E. H. Bradby, Sermons Preached at Haileybury, p. 49; T. T. Lynch, Sermons for my Curates, p. 317; R. Heber, Parish Sermons, vol. ii., p. 251; W. F. Hook, Sermons on the Miracles, vol. ii., p. 33. Matthew 15:32-39.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. i., p. 221; Parker, Inner Life of Christ, vol. ii., p. 340.

Matthew 15:33-34Christ's direction was, "How many loaves have ye?" And of this sentence it has been strikingly observed that it is characteristic of the way in which all Christ's nature was wont to move together at once. Christ felt and thought, pitied and weighed, at the same moment. He never did mischief by His benevolence, because His judgment was behind it. The direction of the text is luminous with important principles for the duty we are thinking of today.

I. First, there is the instinct of sacrifice. These loaves were what the disciples had brought for their own use—a frugal, sparse, and homely provision. What they were invited to give away they had the right, not unreasonably, to reserve for themselves. "Not so," said the Lord. "It is yours—to share with them." Does any ask when the kingdom of Christ will really begin to grow? Only when the Church becomes capable of sacrifices worthy of herself and her Lord.

II. Another principle involved in our Lord's words is the duty of economy. Economy is patent everywhere in the dominion of nature, and it is to be a ruling principle in the activities of grace. Eminently it guided our Lord in the exercise of His supernatural power.

III. This sentence also contains the law of continuity, full of help and guidance for the Church of God. We are not isolated, broken units: we are members of a great body, some of whom are in earth, some in heaven, all of whom must overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, not loving their lives unto the death.

IV. Once more we see the beginning of faith. All great undertakings have grown out of tiny beginnings—grown often to the unspeakable surprise of those who first took them in hand. In fact, there are four stages in the history of mission work—contempt, persecution, acquiescence, triumph; and we are now in the third. Our duty is to obey our Master's orders, leaving the result with Him. As we obey our efforts are blessed, our provision is multiplied, we find ourselves fellow-workers with God; the starving multitudes are nourished and satisfied with the bread of life. Only let us see what God asks of us, and what mankind need of us; what the Church claims, and what the Advent will discover; and then, out of the touched and listening hearts of stirred thousands, rivers of water will flow, to give life to the world.

Bishop Thorold, Family Churchman, Feb. 23rd, 1887.

Matthew 15:34In this act of our Lord's there were two principles so fundamental that the Divine power of Jesus worked by them almost of necessity, so important that they must be made prominent even in all His impetuous eagerness to help those starving men. The first is the principle of continuity, that what is to be must come out of that which has been, that new things must come to be by an enlargement, a development, a change, a growth of old things; and the second is the principle of economy, that nothing, however little or poor, is to be wasted.

I. These two principles are stamped on all the operations of nature. Forget nature, and say, "Feed me, or I shall starve," and His question comes back to you, "How many loaves have you? Give me something to begin with, however little it may be." Drop the old remnants of a past life into the ever-fruitful soil, and all the possibilities of new life open.

II. The same truth appears in the use which God makes of men in the world. All history bears witness that when God means to make a great man He puts the circumstances of the world and the lives of lesser men under tribute. All earnest, pure, unselfish, faithful men, who have lived their obscure lives well, have helped to make him. It is the continuity and economy of human life. The great feast grows out of the few loaves and fishes.

III. In all training of character this law must be supreme. Not lawlessness, not slavish subjection to law, is the system under which we live. Progress and growth; but growth from old conditions, progress from the basis of the old life,—this is our law. Is not this what many a poor creature needs to know? You understand that you are wicked. You understand what it is to be good. But the gulf between is dreadful, impassable. What is there in you that can grow into that? Nothing. The development out of the old still needs the mightier force. Evolution is not Atheism. God must do what must be done, but God will do it. God will make you good, by sending His light and love into this past of yours, and giving all that there is good in its true development and consecration.

Phillips Brooks, The Candle of the Lord, p. 127.

References: Matthew 15:36.—G. Matheson, Moments on the Mount, p. 88. Matthew 16:1-12.—A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, p. 157; Parker, Inner Life of Christ, vol. ii., p. 348. Matthew 16:2.—R. W. Evans, Parochial Sermons, vol. i., p. 284. Matthew 16:2, Matthew 16:3.—H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxviii., p. 411. Matthew 16:3.—R. Thomas, Ibid., vol. xii., p. 248; H. W. Beecher, Ibid., vol. xiii., p. 392, vol. xiv., p. 10; J. Guinness Rogers, Ibid., vol. xxvii., p. 56; F. W. Farrar, Ibid., vol. xxxi., p. 97; C. Kingsley, Town and Country Sermons, p. 429. Matthew 16:4.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. x., p. 114. Matthew 16:12.—G. W. McCree, Christian World Pulpit, vol. ix., p. 216; R. Scott, University Sermons, p. 151.

Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.
And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there.
And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them:
Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.
And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.
William Robertson Nicoll's Sermon Bible

Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

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Matthew 14
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