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Verse 39. Coasts of Magdala. Mark says, "The parts of Dalmanutha"." These were probably small towns on the east side of the sea of Galilee, and near to each other. The evangelists do not say that he went to either of those towns, but only to the coasts, or parts, where they were situated.

{b} "and came into the coasts" Mr 8:10



We learn from this chapter,

(1.) That men are often far more attached to traditions, and the commandments of men, than the law of God, Mt 15:1-6.

(2.) That men are strongly disposed to explain away the law of God, if possible. It is too strict for them, and too spiritual. They dare not often attack it directly, but they will explain it and dilute it so as to make it mean nothing. Wicked men do not love God's law, Mt 15:4-6.

(3.) Men are prone to introduce foolish rites into religion. They do not love what God has commanded, and they attempt to compensate for not loving his doctrines by being great sticklers for their own, Mt 15:2; Mr 7:3,4.


(4.) All addition to the law of God is evil, Mt 15:3. All ceremonies in religion, which are not authorized by the New Testament, are wrong. Man has no right to ordain rites to bind the conscience, where God has commanded none, Co 2:23. Men come the nearest to that which is right when they live nearest to just what God has commanded in the Bible.

(5.) Hypocrites should be unmasked and detected, Mt 15:7. He does a great service to men who detects their hypocrisy. That close and faithful preaching which lays open the heart, and shows men what they are, is that which comes nearest to the example of Christ. It may pain them, but the wounds of a friend are faithful, Pr 27:6 and we should honour and love the man that, by the grace of God, can show us our heart. We always honour most the physician of the body that is most skilled in detecting and curing disease; and so should we the physician of the soul.

(6.) We should be exceedingly cautious of formality in worship, Mt 15:8,9. It is hypocrisy. God requires the heart. To render to him only the service of the lips is to mock him. Nothing can be acceptable but true piety, genuine love, and hearty obedience. Nothing more hateful than an appearance of worshipping God, while the heart is in sin and the world.

(7.) The duty of honouring parents, Mt 15:4-6. Nothing can explain away this duty. It is binding on all. Parents should be obeyed, loved, respected. God requires it, and we cannot be free from the duty. Under age, a child is bound always to obey a parent, where the parent does not command anything contrary to the Bible. But when the parent commands anything contrary to the Bible, the child is not bound to obey, Ac 5:29. After the child is of age he is to respect, love, and honour the parent; and if poor and needy, to provide for his wants till he dies. It is certainly proper that we do all we can to comfort those in old age, who did so much for us in childhood. A child can never repay a parent for his kindness to him.

(8.) We are not at liberty to give to anything else—not even to religious uses—what is necessary to render our parents comfortable, Mt 15:4-6. They have the first claim on us. And though it is our duty to do much in the cause of benevolence, yet our first duty should be to see that our parents do not suffer.

(9.) Men easily take offence when they are faithfully reproved, and especially when their hypocrisy is exposed; and especially if this exposure is about some small matter, on which they have greatly set their hearts—some ceremony in worship, or some foolish rite, Mt 5:12.

(10.) Every false doctrine is to be opposed, and shall be rooted up, Mt 15:13. It is to be opposed by arguments and candid investigation, and not by abuse and misrepresentation. Christ never misrepresented any man's doctrine. He always stated it just as it was, just as they held it; and then, by argument and the word of God, he showed it was wrong. This is the proper way to manage all controversies.

(11.) It is of great importance to search the heart, Mt 15:19,20. It is a fountain of evil. It is the source of all crime. External conduct is comparatively of little importance. In the sight of God the heart is of more importance; and if that were pure, all would be well.

(12.) The doctrine of man's depravity is true, Mt 15:19. If the heart produces all these things, it cannot be pure. And yet who is there from whose heart, at some time, these things have not proceeded? Alas! the world is full of instances where the heart produces evil thoughts, etc.

(13.) In our distress, and the distress of our children and friends, we should go to Jesus. We should, indeed, use all proper means to restore our friends; but we should feel that God only can grant returning health and life, Mt 15:22.

(14.) We should not be discouraged that our prayers are not immediately answered. God knows the proper time to answer them, and it may be of great importance to us that the answer should be deferred, Mt 15:23.

(15.) We should still persevere, Mt 15:24-27. We should not be discouraged. We should not be disheartened, even by the appearance of neglect or unkind treatment.

(16). Our prayers will be answered if we persevere, Mt 15:28. They that seek shall find. In due time—in the best and most proper time —a gracious God will lend an ear to our request, and grant the thing we need.

(17.) We should come with humility and faith, Mt 15:27. We can never think too little of ourselves, or too much of the mercy and faithfulness of Christ. Prayers of humility and faith only are answered.

(18.) Christ will take care of his poor and needy followers. We may be assured that he has power to give us all we need; and that in times of necessity he will supply our wants, Mt 15:32-38.

(19.) The great number of poor in the world is no reason why he should not supply them, Mt 15:38. He daily supplies the wants of nine hundred millions of human beings, besides countless numbers of the beasts of the field, of the fowls of heaven, and the fishes of the sea. It is a small thing to supply the wants of the few poor on the earth; and He who feeds the world will take care of us in the time of want.

(20.) We should be grateful to God for our daily food. We should render to him proper thanksgiving, Mt 15:36

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