Truth and Human Emotions: Matthew 15:10-14
“10) After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand. 11) It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” 12) Then the disciples *came and *said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?” 13) But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. 14) Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”” Matthew‬ ‭15‬:‭10‬-‭14‬ ‭
This story affords us the opportunity to discuss the relationship between truth and human emotions. Put on your thinking cap because this is very important subject.
In order to understand these verses, we need to review the context. This came about because the Pharisees and scribes maliciously accused Jesus of transgression because He was allowing His disciples to eat bread without ceremonial washing and Jesus turned the tables on them. (Matthew 15:1-9)
It appears that the Pharisees were offended when Jesus exposed their hypocrisy. Truth can be offensive, but exposing sin and error is an act of love. Notice that Jesus did not back down.
These religious leaders were wrong for two reasons. First, they ignored the Word of God and instead built erroneous traditions. Second, they become blind guides to otherwise sincere people. Their path was leading to destruction, and those who followed them faced the same doom. That’s very serious.
In the next paragraph, the disciples asked Jesus to explain Himself. He was more than willing to expound on the erroneous ways of the Pharisees. We will save that for the next post, but for now it is important to understand that Jesus did not water down truth because it offended others.
Gods Word is the standard of truth; not opinion polls, hurt feelings or offended people. Hypocrisy is a master at hurting and offending others while making their own emotions the guide to truth. I always cringe when someone responds or opposes solid Biblical teaching with the words; “I feel that… !”
I’m sorry, but human emotions are not the guardian of truth. The Bible teaches that the heart of man is dark, deceived and wicked. The Holy Spirit offends people in the process of bringing conviction. The Word of God is living and active like a two edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12) It can cut deeply.
It appears that the Pharisees were laying a heavy guilt trip on the disciples because Jesus offended them. Here is the bottom line; the truth can hurt, but truth is the only pathway to freedom, forgiveness, salvation and healing. (See John 8:31-36)
Love and truth need each other. They were in perfect balance in Jesus. Yet, He never allowed love to obscure or silence truth. To the contrary, He understood that truth is the only way for people who are about to fall into a pit could reconsider their path and change their destination.
You will dance with this subject many times in your relations to other people. At times you will be the one offended by the truth. Don’t pout, instead deal with what the Holy Spirit is exposing in your life. Amend your ways based on truth. It’s the best way to avoid tragic pits in your life!
Other times you will need to take a stand on truth that might offend someone close to you. Do it in a loving way, but don’t water down truth so as not to offend others. That makes you an enabler. You will be holding their hand as they fall headlong into a tragic pit.
At first glance this text seems mundane, but it serves up a significant discussion . I encourage you to take a second look these verses. They are deeper than first impressions reveal.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global