Being a Pastor 16 – The Sermon 9

We’ve glanced at our commentaries. Let’s drag parts into the research section of our sermon so we can quote from them if we need to.

The scribes and Pharisees are not ill-naturedly seeking to entangle Jesus. They are genuinely bewildered; and in a very short time they are going to be genuinely outraged and shocked; for the basic importance of this passage is that it is not so much a clash between Jesus and the Pharisees in a personal way; it is something far more—it is the collision of two views of religion and two views of the demands of God.

William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, Third Ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 2001), 128.

In this passage, there meets us the whole conception of clean and unclean. We must be quite clear that this idea of cleanness and uncleanness has nothing to do with physical cleanness, or, except distantly, with hygiene. It is entirely a ceremonial matter. For the people to be clean was for them to be in a state where they might worship and approach God; for them to be unclean was for them to be in a state where such a worship and such an approach were impossible.

William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, Third Ed., The New Daily Study Bible (Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 2001), 128.

In the following verses, He highlights their guilt for a much greater offense than handwashing.

John D. Barry, Douglas Mangum, et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Mt 15:3

.Wash not their hands. Washing before meals was alone regarded as a commandment; washing after meals only as a duty. By and by the more rigorous actually washed between the courses, although this was declared to be purely voluntary. The distinctive designation for washing after meals was the lifting of the hands; while for washing before meat a term was used which meant, literally, to rub. If “holy,” i.e., sacrificial food was to be partaken of, a complete immersion of the hands, and not a mere “uplifting” was prescribed. As the purifications were so frequent, and care had to be taken that the water had not been used for other purposes, or something fallen into it that might discolor or defile it, large vessels or jars were generally kept for the purpose (see John 2:6). It was the practice to draw water out of these with a kind of ladle or bucket—very often of glass—which must hold at least one and a half egg-shells (compare draw out now, John 2:8). The water was poured on both hands, which must be free of anything covering them, such as gravel, mortar, etc. The hands were lifted up so as to make the water run to the wrist, in order to insure that the whole hand was washed, and that the water polluted by the hand did not again run down the fingers. Similarly, each hand was rubbed with the other (the fist), provided the hand that rubbed had been affused; otherwise, the rubbing might be done against the head, or even against a wall. But there was one point on which special stress was laid. In the “first affusion,” which was all that originally was required when the hands were not levitically “defiled,” the water had to run down to the wrist. If the water remained short of the wrist, the hands were not clean. See on Mark 7:3 (Edersheim, “Life and Times of Jesus”).

Marvin Richardson Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 1 (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887), 86–87.

Already we have seen the Herodians combining with the Pharisees in the purpose to put Jesus to death (Mark 3:6=Matt. 12:14=Luke 6:11). Soon Jesus will warn the disciples against the Sadducees also (Matt. 16:6). Unusual order here, “Pharisees and scribes.” “The guardians of tradition in the capital have their evil eye on Jesus and co-operate with the provincial rigorists” (Bruce), if the Pharisees were not all from Jerusalem.

A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1933), Mt 15:1.

it must be kept in mind that the language of 5 is used in anger by the son, who, exasperated by his father, utters this ‘vow’ to cut off his parent from every kind of benefit he might gain from him. It is a curse against his father which he utters. The son does not dedicate his goods or his services to the Temple; he merely vows all away from his father. The Rabbis said: ‘Whoever shall say: “Korban is everything whereby thou mightest be profited,” he shall be bound.’

P. P. Levertoff, “Special Introduction,” in A New Commentary on Holy Scripture: Including the Apocrypha, ed. Charles Gore, Henry Leighton Goudge, and Alfred Guillaume, vol. 3 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1942), 164–165.

By putting the commandments of men on a level with the divine requirements, their whole worship was rendered vain—a principle of deep moment in the service of God.

Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 46.

Okay, as you can see here, there’s a lot to glean from commentaries, and much to be rejected as well. Commentaries are the opinions of men, but as you see, there’s a certain level of agreement. JFB proceeds to cross reference Mark 7, and you could choose to go there as well, if you’re trying to preach the completeness of the message. However, I think that personally is best dealt with in its own sermon.

The sermon document should list the sermon as being 13 minutes long. It’s very possible that it’s better to do this as a notefile separate from the sermon document, that way you can really keep track of the sermon’s length, but still have the sermon template to deal with. I usually just plunge on, and trim away. I’m guilty of speaking for 20 minutes on a Wednesday night, so taking advantage of a sermon timer like this is a tool I really could use.

Now, Logos has a number of serious features that I could take advantage of here. I’ve listed the fancy code you can use in the search engines to see how many times Jesus Christ speaks to the Pharisees. You can take advantage of using any of the interactive tools. I poked at the Timeline, but it yields nothing of value.

The Passage analysis yields some interesting stuff. We’ve just gone through Jesus Christ walking on water, feeding thousands, healsmany people… and the Pharisees choose this moment to ask about washing hands.

Truly, masters of tact and good timing. Obviously, they didn’t get the point. So, Jesus will show mercy to the Syrophenician woman, and then… heal many and feed thousands.

After that the Pharisees… ask Jesus for a sign.

The Bible records the Lord looking at them and telling them, “No sign will be given except for that of the prophet Jonah.”

The Messiah was to settle matters of the Law. The Lord did that. The Messiah is supposed to raise people from the dead. He did that. The Messiah can do signs to prove he’s the Messiah. The Lord did that.

And they argue with Him about washing hands, and ask the Lord for a sign.

“Since you’re not paying attention, the only sign you get is when I am put to death, and rise from the dead.”

You’ve got a LOT here now to write this sermon.


Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???

2 thoughts on “Being a Pastor 16 – The Sermon 9”

  1. Bro. Phillip, William Barclay disavowed the virgin birth of our Saviour. He is probably not the best source for promoting Christian concepts. He knows better now, but alas, its too late! He died in unbelief.


    1. Information I did not have. I was only going through my commentaries.When it comes to good commentaries, alas, most of them are written by people with doctrinal problems. Thanks for the update.


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