LISTEN AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND

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MUSINGS – March 17, 2019
LISTEN AND TRY TO UNDERSTAND

Matthew 15:10-20
Then he called the crowd and said to them, “Listen and try to understand! What goes into a person’s mouth doesn’t make him unclean. It’s what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean.” Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you realize that when the Pharisees heard your statement they were offended?” He answered, “Any plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone! They are blind leaders. When one blind person leads another, both will fall into the same pit.” Peter said to him, “Explain this illustration to us.” Jesus said, “Don’t you understand yet? Don’t you know that whatever goes into the mouth goes into the stomach and then into a toilet? But whatever goes out of the mouth comes from within, and that’s what makes a person unclean. Evil thoughts, murder, adultery, other sexual sins, stealing, lying, and cursing come from within. These are the things that make a person unclean. But eating without washing one’s hands doesn’t make a person unclean.”

This is a pattern that repeats over and over with Jesus’s teachings: the lesson, the rebuke, the response, and the explanation.
  • The lesson
What goes into a person’s mouth doesn’t make him unclean. It’s what comes out of the mouth that makes a person unclean.
  • The rebuke
Pharisees heard and were offended
  • The response
They are blind leaders. When one blind person leads another, both will fall into the same pit.The explanationEvil thoughts, murder, adultery, other sexual sins, stealing, lying, and cursing come from within. These are the things that make a person unclean.

Jesus chose his disciples partially because off what they did NOT know. They had not been raised with a strict rabbinical training. They had been raised in common Jewish households where theyhad learned the basics of their religion. This made them perfect students for the master. The disciples were neither under educated nor over educated. He was teaching them a new way of understanding the scriptures. It was a way not of fear and sacrifice but of love and service.

However, even with then observing Jesus’s teachings up closer and personal, they still asked. “Explain this illustration to us.” It is no wonder that he said, “Don’t you understand yet?”

He still says to us, “Listen and try to understand!”

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All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams

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