10/19/2018 — Matthew Chapter 15 and Mark Chapter 7
Matthew 15: 15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them
Mark 7: 7 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?
So, when I read the word “dull” here my thought was “OK, it sounds a bit harsh — was Jesus really questioning his disciples ability to understand?” So, I went word searching and the word used here leaves little doubt. The Greek word is “asunetoj” and per Strong’s’ Lexicon it literally means “unintelligent; by implication, wicked:–foolish, without understanding.”
But before we criticize the apostles too strongly remember the tenants that had been taught the apostles from their birth by their religious leaders. I think commentator AT Robertson makes an excellent point: It was a discouraging moment for the great Teacher if his own chosen pupils (disciples) were still under the spell of the Pharisaic theological outlook. It was a riddle to them. “They had been trained in Judaism, in which the distinction between clean and unclean is ingrained, and could not understand a statement abrogating this” (Gould).
A message for us today — we should never stop comparing the teachings we hear to the inspired Word of God. And that is why establishing a routine of Bible reading and study is critical to our spiritual development.