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THE HOLIEST                      Commentaries on St. Matthew


Tablet Twenty-Four

Chapter 15

"Then came to Esa scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,"

"Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread." (Matthew 15:1-2)

<1>The scribes and Pharisees who were supposed to be the spiritual leaders for others by setting an example, instead had exploited others and created a wealthy distinguished class as superiors. <2>It was because they had great wealth, were not worried about anything and had time, that they would keep themselves very clean and would wash their hands often. This distinguished them from the common people. That is why they criticized Christ for his disciples who were not as physically clean as they were.

"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." (Matthew 15:3-6)

<3>So Christ answered them that they break the Laws of the Lord and His Commandments by their false tradition. Then they complained about his disciples who had broken a law of man (tradition)! <4>Which one is more important for a true spiritual person, the Laws and Commandments of the Lord or the traditions of men?

"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." (Matthew 15:7-8)

<5>The words are worth nothing, it is the heart which should become spiritualized. Many people talk about love, devotion, surrendering, sacrifice, universalism, etc, <6>but unless the person becomes love, devotion, surrendering, etc, what he says are just words.

"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:9)

<7>Unless you become God's Laws, only the repetition of words or talking about Him is all in vain. Those who stay in this illusion that they can follow the laws of men instead of God have no choice but to become hypocrites and teach the doctrines and commandments of men instead of God. <8>That is why it is necessary for the human to direct all his attention toward God and have no fear of men nor long for any approval but His.

"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." (Matthew 15:10-11)

<9>Whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart. So he who defiles the Laws of God by his teachings not only defiles his own Soul but causes society to go astray also. <10>A person with soiled hands might damage himself physically, but a leader with an impure heart will bring great suffering to others.

"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." (Matthew 15:12-14)

<11>His disciples told him that the Pharisees were offended. <12>However, Christ was not here to please men, but to say the truth. <13>If the truth offends someone, it is not the fault of the Prophet but it is the filthiness of that person which will cause him to be offended. That is why Christ referred to them as the blind leaders that only the blind (spiritually) would follow. Then both would fall together into the grip of the illusion of this world, "into the ditch."

"Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable."

"And Esa said, Are ye also yet without understanding?" (Matthew 15:15-16)

<14>Esa became surprised that after all this time and effort he had put on his disciples, they still did not understand such a simple parable and teaching.

"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." (Matthew 15:17-20)

<15>A person who has purified his spirit will not do sin (bad actions) and will not transgress the Laws of the Lord. To eat with unwashed hands is not a sin but evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, etc, are sins which are done because of dirty hearts (spirits).

<16>However, to have a clean spirit and also to wash the hands is the best.


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