New Defender's Study Bible Notes
15:3 transgress the commandment. The Lord severely rebuked the Pharisees for ignoring the clear teachings and commands of Scripture in favor of their own self-serving interpretations and traditions. This unfortunate practice is as prevalent among modern Christians as among ancient Jews, and would surely draw the same rebuke today if He were here in the flesh. In fact, we today are more culpable than they are, because we have far more evidence of the inerrant authority of His Word than the Pharisees had.
15:8 This people. Jesus was here quoting from Isaiah 29:13.
15:17 draught. That is, the privy or sewer, wherever wastes were disposed.
15:24 lost sheep of the house of Israel. The Lord Jesus had come into the world to die for the sin of the whole world, but He had also come as Israel’s promised Messiah. His seeming harshness to the Canaanite woman is best understood as not only a test of her faith in the God of Israel, but also as a means to show His disciples that Gentiles also were included in God’s plan and that they too could have saving faith. Jesus had used this same phrase, “the lost sheep of the house of Israel” when He first sent the twelve out to minister to these “lost sheep” (Matthew 10:5-6). The gospel was to go “to the Jew first” (Romans 1:16). However, when the Lord later sent the disciples out again, they were directed to witness “both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
15:38 four thousand men. Matthew 16:6-12 confirms that this was a second miraculous feeding of a multitude, and not an inadvertent repetition of the first, as some have charged. The word “thanks” occurs for the first time in the New Testament in Matthew 15:36, and significantly, it is on the lips of the Lord Jesus.