Leave them alone (Matthew 14.15)

Text: Matthew 15

Memorize: And he replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father did not plant will be uprooted. Leave them! They are blind guides. If someone who is blind leads another who is blind, both will fall into a pit.” Matthew 15:13-14 NET

The subject: tradition above God’s commandments. The targets: Pharisees and scribes. The issue: breaking God’s commandments.

When this Jerusalem commission charged Jesus with breaking the ancient traditions, Jesus turned the tables on them and charged them with breaking God’s commandment because of their traditions. In the ensuing explanation and Jesus’ announcement to the crowds that contamination occurred from what came out of a man’s mouth and not what went into it, the disciples saw how deeply the Pharisees and scribes were offended.

Thinking to patch things over, they told Jesus, who promptly called the religious authorities what they were, blind guides. And what to do about them? Leave them alone. God will take care of them. Certainly one shouldn’t try to placate or please them.

Word Cue: Leave (Gr. aphiemi). The Greek term has a wide range of meanings: to permit, to forgive, to tolerate, to allow, to give, to let. Here, the meaning is to ignore (NLT) or disregard (AMP), not to concern oneself with them. Jesus’ imperative to the disciples indicates the hopelessness of Pharisees’ and scribes’ situation.

Prayer: God, give me courage when others squeal because their favorite essential traditions have been unmasked, to move on and leave them clinging to their self-righteousness, for the good of the kingdom. Amen.

Action Question: When is it best to engage in dialogue or recommended to leave people where they are?

What do you think?