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Matthew 15:12

“Then came His disciples and said unto Him, Knowesth thou that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying?”

Jesus and the disciples had just finished a most exhausting day. After Jesus knew that John had been beheaded by Herod, He left the area by ship and went into a desert area. But this was not for rest and relaxation for the multitude followed Him. A full day of teaching and healing did not end at evening for then He fed the five thousand men, plus women and children and the disciples collected twelve baskets full of fragments that remained. Now five thousand people constitutes a large crowd and to feed them consumed a considerable time, so as the evening came to an end, Jesus instructed His disciples to take a leisurely boat ride across the sea of Galilee. He dismissed the multitude and went up into the mountain to pray. The disciples, however, toiled all night being tossed by the waves and the wind was contrary.

“And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them walking on the water”

Instead of bringing peace and comfort to these tired fisherman, they were troubled and filled with fear. But when Jesus announced Himself to them, Peter answered Him and said “Lord. IF it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water”. Again the power and authority of the Messiah is demonstrated for all His disciples to see and hear as Peter goes over the side of the ship, walks on the water, begins to sink as his eyes are diverted to the wind and the waves and after he is rescued from the sea and returns with Christ to the ship, the winds and the waves are silenced and they arrive at the other side in Gennesaret. Here, instead of a restful vacation and well deserved sleep, the multitude again brings unto Jesus all who were diseased, “and as many as touched (His garment) were made perfectly whole”.

“Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders as they wash not their hands when they eat bread?”

Hungry, tired and fatigued would be the best way to describe the condition of the flesh after an ordeal like this. But The Son of man was not subject to the demands of the flesh and His strength was sufficient for His disciples. Yet when it would appear to the eyes of man that things had come to a conclusion, these Scribes and Pharisees come all the way from Jerusalem, almost 80 miles away by foot, over the mountains, up the valley road and across the Jordan, to accuse the disciples of breaking ‘traditions’. They did not come with a warrant for their arrest for violation of a crime, or an edict from the High Priest for iniquity against the law, no, they came with an accusation of traditions. And not only traditions but those of the ‘elders’. These were not the latest commentary on how to keep the law and live a ‘righteous’ life, these were the handed down verbal law of the ancient ones that have stood the test of time, mainly, wash you hands before you eat bread. Not just a cleansing of the hands, mind you, this was a ceremonial washing of the hands, forearms and elbows lest at any time someone may have been polluted (unclean) and not worthy of eating the unleavened bread.

Jesus does not deny this one bit but rather answers them by saying, “Ye also”. He admits freely that His disciples were guilty of this accusation and returns the words of the Pharisees against themselves. However, they were not guilty of violating the traditions, they were guilty of transgressing the “commandment of God”. This is not the ten commandments, the moral law, the ceremonial law or any other subdivision that mans theology has concocted, it is THE commandment of God. All the law begins and ends in, “I am Jehovah your God”. No matter what part of the ‘Pentateuch’ you can go to, it begins with this commandment and ends with “and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”. The second is like unto the first and upon these two hang all the law and the prophets (Matt. 22:39f). They had not only transgressed this law but they had polluted it by teaching the traditions of the elders as the commandment of God. They, like their father the devil, had made themselves, by tradition, equal with God.

But Jesus does not leave this encounter with a simple rebuke, He then calls over the multitudes that have witnessed His power by the healing of the diseased and begins to explain that the kingdom of God is not in meats and drinks; for what goes into the mouth does not defile the man, even if is eaten with unwashed hands, but that which comes out of the mouth shows forth the defilement of man within. This a direct affront to the Pharisees whose name means ‘to shew’. They practiced the religion of Adam that is still being practiced today, that is, to have people see what you are doing or have done. The Pharisees could not make their alms in private for no man would see them. They could not pray in a closet for, being hypocrites, they loved to pray in the synagogues and, like the heathen, stand on the street corners to be heard for their much speaking. They love to be seen of men, they make broad their phylacteries and enlarge the borders of their garments; they love the uppermost rooms at the feast, the chief seats in the synagogues and desire to be called ‘Rabbi’ (teacher) in the market places (Matt. 23:5ff). Jesus makes it VERY clear that that which is seen of man does not pertain to the kingdom of God.

ADAM HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE KINGDOM OF GOD! What a man sees is temporal (II Cor. 4:18) and what he sees he does not hope for (Rms. 8:28) so the things which are seen of man, recognized and highly esteemed are abomination before Jehovah. These men, as well as any one who adheres to the religion of Adam, typifies this error. (And yes every child of grace wars against this religion in the law of his members).

Now you may ask, What is the religion of Adam? Well it began in the garden with thinking he knows more than God, for surely God did not mean what he said, which leads to a course of action that does not measure up to the standard of the Holiness of God (sin). It then degenerates to an arrogant assumption that he can fix the problem with a few aprons of fig leaves and concludes with blaming God for causing these things to come to pass. Did God cause those things to come to pass? Of course He did for He is El Shaddiah, God almighty, “who worketh all things after the counsel of His good will”. Yet He is not answerable to man, He cannot sin and deny Himself, His ways and His works are verity and truth and according to the good pleasure of his will all that comes to pass, even the religion of Adam, is good.

“Then came His disciples unto Him”

The very men who had been accused by the Pharisees now came to Jesus and asked Him if he knew that He had offended these legalist work-mongers by what He had said. Did Jesus care? Not at all. He is that Rock of offense, the stone of stumbling and the cause of their down fall. He answers His disciples by saying, “Every plant that My Father hath not planted shall be rooted up”. This is a direct reference to the parable that he spoke about the wicked one who planted tares in the good mans field. The good man owns the field, since he sold all that he had and bought the field for the treasure within, and he planted His seed in it. These are the children of the kingdom which He planted in the corruption of the earthen vessels, causing them to be subject to the vanity of the flesh when they became partakers of flesh and blood and by His leave and at his appointed time the devil planted his seed in the same field. The Son of Man knew these things and had ordained them to be and since He has power all flesh (John 17:2) He caused this to come to pass. He had created the wicked one with a seed which are his children. They do their fathers work (John 8:44) and care not for the truth. Just as the good man (Son of Man) told His servants to leave the tares grow together with the wheat, so Jesus told His disciples to “leave them alone”. Was He saying that all Pharisees were tares? No, for we know quite well that Saul of Tarsus, being a Pharisee of Pharisees, was a chosen vessel unto God. Yet the traditions of the elders, the need for shew and open display before men and the arrogance of being ‘blameless before god’ because of their own righteousness, are the works of the devil and those who display such works are to be forsaken, cast off, left alone, abandoned, divorced and deserted. There is to be no prayers for these people, no sacrifice will be accepted and no missionary outreach to be sent to them to convert, convince or persuade them. No writings to teach them of the love of God for them and no charity to be shown unto them. They have the law and the prophets and even if one were to return from the dead, yet shall they not hear (Luke 16:29f). They are to be LEFT ALONE!!!!

Interestingly enough is that this is the same word which means to forgive. When the Father saw the travail of the soul of the Son and was well pleased, He knew that the sin of his people had been atoned for, removed and they were forgiven. They were set free of the obligation for the debt and the debt was abandoned, never to be called for again and the child of grace, who has been forgiven this debt, loves his brethren and forgives them the same way. Therefore they forsake the traditions of the elders and keep the commandments of God. They love Him because He first loved them and they love on another, forgiving each other as they have been forgiven.

Each of these plants which the Father assigned to the wicked one to plant have been rooted up, bundled together and burned in the fire of His indignation, though it does not yet appear so. Just as the redeemed of the Lord are seated together with Him in the heavenlies, although while in the dwelling of this habitation, it does not yet appear, Yet the truth stands that, after His resurrection, He gathered all nations unto Himself and assembled all kingdoms, to pour out His indignation and fierce anger against all the earth and those whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb. At that time He turned His people to a pure language, which no man knows, that they may call upon His name and serve Him with one consent (Zeph. 3:8-13). This is His poor and afflicted people who are blessed with the testimony of a finished work and, by the indwelling Spirit, keep the commandments of God. Therefore brethren, we are hated of all men for His name sake.

Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
April 8, 2012