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Wesley's Notes Commentary on St. Matthew 15:1-20, 16:5-12

Wesley's Notes

Matthew 15

1. Mark vii, 1.

2. The elders - The chief doctors or, teachers among the Jews.

3. They wash not their hands when they eat bread - Food in general is termed bread in Hebrew; so that to eat bread is the same as to make a meal.

4. honour thy father and mother - Which implies all such relief as they stand in need of. Exod. xx, 12; xxi, 17.

5. It is a gift by whatsoever thou mightest have been profited by me - That is, I have given, or at least, purpose to give to the treasury of the temple, what you might otherwise have had from me.

7. Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying - That is, the description which Isaiah gave of your fathers, is exactly applicable to you. The words therefore which were a description of them, are a prophecy with regard to you.

8. Their heart is far from me - And without this all outward worship is mere mockery of God. Isaiah xxix, 13.

9. Teaching the commandments of men - As equal with, nay, superior to, those of God. What can be a more heinous sin?

13. Every plant - That is, every doctrine.

14. Let them alone - If they are indeed blind leaders of the blind; let them alone: concern not yourselves about them: a plain direction how to behave with regard to all such. Luke vi, 39.

17. Are ye also yet without understanding - How fair and candid are the sacred historians? Never concealing or excusing their own blemishes.

19. First evil thoughts - then murders - and the rest. Railings - The Greek word includes all reviling, backbiting, and evil speaking.

Matthew 16

5. Mark viii, 14.

6. Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees - That is, of their false doctrine: this is elegantly so called; for it spreads in the soul, or the Church, as leaven does in meal. Luke xii, 1.

7. They reasoned among themselves - What must we do then for bread, since we have taken no bread with us?

8. Why reason ye - Why are you troubled about this? Am I not able, if need so require, to supply you by a word?

11. How do ye not understand - Beside, do you not understand, that I did not mean bread, by the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees?

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