Matthew 15



Matthew 15 underscores Jesus' emphasis on true devotion to God from the heart, contrasting it with mere external rituals. The chapter also highlights the universal reach of Jesus' ministry, extending even to a Gentile woman. The feeding miracles underscore Jesus' divine power and provision.


  1. Traditions and Commandments (Matthew 15:1-9): Pharisees and scribes question Jesus about the disciples' failure to follow the tradition of washing hands before eating. Jesus responds by exposing their hypocrisy, citing Isaiah's prophecy about honoring God with their lips while their hearts are far from Him. He emphasizes that true defilement comes from the heart.

  2. The Faith of a Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:21-28): A Canaanite woman approaches Jesus, pleading for her demon-possessed daughter's healing. Initially, Jesus seems to dismiss her, stating that he was sent to the lost sheep of Israel. However, impressed by her persistent faith, he commends her and heals her daughter.

  3. Feeding the Four Thousand (Matthew 15:29-39): Jesus travels to the region of the Sea of Galilee and heals many people. In a remote area, he miraculously feeds four thousand men (plus women and children) with seven loaves and a few fish. This event echoes the feeding of the five thousand in Matthew 14.

  4. Demand for a Sign (Matthew 15:39-16:4): Pharisees and Sadducees request a sign from Jesus. He refuses, emphasizing the signs already given and condemning their spiritual blindness. He warns his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, referring to their false teachings.