Matthew 15:10–20 (ESV)
Defiles a Person
10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it
is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they
heard this saying?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind,
both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do
you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the
heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
People are unholy because of sin, not from some external defilement. Sin originates in the heart. Jesus mentioned
a few of these sins, and one could easily add many more. At our birth, we were already sinful. But through Holy Baptism and the Word, the Spirit has renewed our hearts and washed away all our sins (Ti 3:4–7). Although our hearts will never be completely
free from sinful desire in this life, God’s Spirit continues to lead us on the path of holiness.
I pray: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Amen.
Matthew 15:1–9 (ESV)
15 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why
do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For
God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have
gained from me is given to God,” 6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy
of you, when he said:
8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
Jesus is dealing with questions of Law when He criticizes
placing man-made traditions above God’s Commandments. God’s Law and Gospel dare never be subordinated to human teachings and rules. Jesus came to fulfill every aspect of the Law, that He might be our perfect Savior.
I pray: Lord Jesus Christ, keep me faithful to Your Word, which is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Ps 119:105). Amen.
Heals the Sick in Gennesaret
34 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 And
when the men of that place recognized him, they sent around to all that region and brought to him all who were sick 36 and implored him that they might only touch the fringe of his garment. And as many as touched it were made
Surprisingly, Jesus heals many who only touch the tassel of His garment. What about today? Does not God permit both believer and unbeliever to be healed through medications that are
derived from His creation? (Cf 5:45.) What happens on the Plain of Gennesaret demonstrates Christ’s exceeding goodness to all. Yet because we know Jesus and trust Him as our Savior and Lord, we thank and praise Him for the multitude of undeserved favors
that we daily receive.
I pray: “Oh give thanks to the Lord,
for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!” (Ps 118:1). Amen.
Matthew 14:22–33 (ESV)
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat
and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but
the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night
he came to them, walking on the sea. 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately
Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But
when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you
doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
You know, seeing a man walking on the water would scare the living daylight out of me. It’s not natural!
It defies the laws of science! Yet Jesus says “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid”. When Jesus reveals His divine presence to His disciples by walking on the sea, they can only conclude: “Truly You are the Son of God.”
As long as Peter keeps his eyes on Jesus, he also is able to walk on the water. Like Peter, we often look away from the object of our faith and focus on our problems and doubts. Although we know the Son of God is with us and provides for all our needs, we
still worry and fear. Jesus states, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” His powerful arm reaches out to steady us and guide us into His safe harbor.
I pray: Divine Savior, when the storms of life threaten to shipwreck my faith, assure me of
Your loving presence and protecting care. Amen.
Matthew 14:13–21 (ESV)
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion
on them and healed their sick. 15 Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into
the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” 17 They said to him, “We have only five loaves
here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” 19 Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked
up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken
pieces left over. 21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
What I like the most is Jesus
telling them “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” Jesus was asking them to do the impossible. I think about what it takes to feed 100 or 200 people… and it is a lot of work and planning. It also cost
money! Jesus does the impossible by feeding them with no money. He is teaching them that He (Jesus) is God! I’m proud to have feed 250 in a single sitting. But 5,000… with no money????
Really??? I would have been amazed too!
I pray: Jesus, you are the creator of all things. It was nothing for you to feed the 5,000. Yet
you have much bigger things to do. Physical food is great, but spiritual food is eternal. Amen.