The Pharisees specialized in the minutiae of the Old Law, or rather, in the details of their traditions. They were guardians of traditions that had been built around the Law of God as a hedge. Their efforts to “safeguard the Law” resulted in their unfortunate position of “being more righteous than God.” Not really, but I think you get the point. Sadly, the Pharisees’ religion was one of outward show, not of inward devotion and purity. Some people are just as sure of their self-righteous opinions as they are of what the Word actually says. They set themselves up as judges of others. Jesus said, “If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” Be sure of what you believe. Believe the Bible. Judge yourself and not others.
The faith of the Canaanite woman put to shame the reluctant faith of the children of Israel. So humble was she, that she assumed the role of a dog begging crumbs. How badly do we want to be blessed by God? Are we willing to throw off all self-righteousness? Are we willing to forsake sinful ways? Are we willing to do exactly what the Lord requires of us?
The feeding of the 4,000 is recorded only in Matthew and Mark. The narrative is so similar to the feeding of the 5,000 that some are skeptical of its authenticity. We should conclude that the Lord who could feed 5,000 from a child’s lunch basket, could also feed 4,000 from 7 loaves and a few fish. May we continue to enjoy reading the Word of God. It is the only divine record we have. Let us treasure it and trust it. God bless.
My comments are not an inspired commentary, but rather a few words to draw attention to the background, context, and dynamic situation of Matthew’s gospel. May God bless your reading of His Word. T.C.