Archive of Pastor Darby's Sermon Notes, transcribed from his original typewritten documents

 

Matt 15:1-20

TRADITIONS OR COMMANDMENTS

Feb 15, 1970 pm

ONE OF THE GREATEST BARRIERS TO A FRESH, VIBRANT HEART IS A DEAD TRADITIONALISM

  • It was dead tradition that kept the Bible-believing Pharisees from enjoying Jesus
  • Today we must be sharp to distinguish between the laws of God and dead tradition
  • Jesus rebuked with strong words those who were sitting on tradition, instead of living with open enjoyment in obedience to God's holiness.

Many today make the same mistake

THE BIG QUESTIONS  Matt 15:1-6

The simplest form of confrontation is to debate by questions - beware to question Jesus

THE QUESTIONING OF THE PHARISEES  v.2   REVEALED THEIR HARDNESS OF HEART TOWARD HUMAN NEED

  • The technical faultfinding of the Pharisees covered wicked and corrupt hearts with manners
  • The washing of hands was very important when everyone ate from a common bowl, but not sacred
  • They made an insane fad out of cleanliness- and they have relatives in Phoenix - cleanliness is not godliness.

THE QUESTIONING OF JESUS  v.3  REVEALED HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR HYPOCRISY IN CUSTOMS

  • With one question Jesus drives to the very heart of their false evaluation- false judgement
  • Traditions of men, social custom and grace, important items to maintain civilization - not life
  • The commandments of God- keeping them leads to enjoyment of life, violations = death

THE ILLUSTRATION GIVEN BY JESUS POINTS OUT A VERY SERIOUS ERROR IN THEIR TRADITION v.4-6

  • God's commandments regarding honor for parents cannot be thrust aside by a formula- custom
  • Men have lots of ideas how to run churches, but God is not impressed by our idealism and ritual
  • Jesus did not destroy God's laws - so we must fulfill them - basic honesty, integrity, industry

Their fancy manners had grown to mean more in that day than God's great weighty laws!

JESUS AND THE PHARISEES  v.7-11

The Pharisees were the fundamentalists in that day - they should have followed Jesus easily

THE PROBLEM THAT EXISTED HERE WAS IN MEN'S MINDS, NOT IN THEIR STOMACHS  v.9

  • Jesus spoke harshly to the Pharisees- v.7, and used scripture pointedly against them
  • All their hard work in the religious area was in vain- a handicap to them, not a help
  • The Pharisees missed the heart of God's law- Matt 23:23 - and Jesus rebuked them sternly

THE TRUTH WAS GIVEN TO THE MULTITUDE AS JESUS TURNED TO EXPLAIN HIS ACTIONS TO THEM  v.11

  • Jesus did not waste His time talking with these hard hearts- He turned to the multitude
  • His words v.11 drove right to the heart of the matter- spiritual not physical defilement
  • Matt 12:37 had been spoke about a year before- danger of the unpardonable sin

THE SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE PHARISEES KEPT THEM FROM THE  WONDERFUL GRACE OF GOD, ABOUNDING GRACE

  • Matt 12:1- they objected to eating in field on Sabbath - v.10 healing, they couldn't be pleased
  • We have this today - woman yesterday objected to CODAC  - Trigger words: Federal, Mental Health,
  • Another example- young people who couldn't use Ralph Carmichael's music because of his relationship with Billy Graham

The root of bitterness can ruin us even if we are right in the argument - watch out for it.

JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES  Matt 15:12-20

Even those who choose to walk with Jesus did not understand his harshness with the Pharisees

THE DISCIPLES WERE WORRIED THAT JESUS WOULD OFFEND THE PHARISEES - v.12

  • How strange and cruel that the disciples should accuse the Master - or church members a pastor-
  • Matt 18:7 warns about offending- and states that it its impossible to keep from offending
  • Jesus said - "Let them alone" -v.14, and we need to apply Rom 16:17 carefully for soul's sake

THIS OPENS THE WORDS OF JESUS REGARDING THE SPIRITUAL HEART OF MAN  v.18-19

  • Food faddists might not like this- Not what you eat, but what is eating you that matters
  • But we can make mistakes watching for key words- Shibboleth - that turn us away from people
  • In Jer 17:9 Jeremiah told us that the heart is deceitful and desperately wicked -

ONLY GOD CAN HELP CLEANSE THE HEART, AND ONLY GOD CAN FORGIVE OUR SIN   Ezek 11:19

  • God has promised a clean, new heart, to take out the hard stone heart if we let him - 36:26
  • Forgiveness, gentleness, real love and concern- come from the spirit of the law in new heart
  • The only way we can walk in His statutes is to have this new heart - Ezek 11:20

Will you understand what Jesus was trying to say, or will you too have a hardened heart?

REVIVAL COMES INTO OUR HEARTS WHEN WE LET JESUS CRUSH THE HARDNESS OUT

  • As long as you are criticizing others there is no way you can find God's love and grace
  • When you look within your own heart, confess your sin, get right with God, then you can look to others with a real desire to help them, and minister to them.