Matthew 15:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 15:10, NIV: "Jesus called the crowd to him and said, 'Listen and understand."

Matthew 15:10, ESV: "And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand:"

Matthew 15:10, KJV: "And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:"

Matthew 15:10, NASB: "After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, 'Hear and understand."

Matthew 15:10, NLT: "Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. 'Listen,' he said, 'and try to understand."

Matthew 15:10, CSB: "Summoning the crowd, he told them, "Listen and understand:"

What does Matthew 15:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the prior passage, Jesus concluded a harsh exchange with Pharisees who came from Jerusalem to challenge Him. Now He turns to address the larger crowd of people around Him. He seems to be preparing to answer the charge the Pharisees have made against His disciples in verse 2: Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't ritually wash their hands before they eat (Matthew 15:1–2). Christ's response to the religious leaders was to call out their hypocrisy, for adding to the commands of God, then treating those additions as if they were more important than God's own commands (Matthew 15:3–9).

Speaking to the crowd, Jesus begins with the words "hear and understand." The disciples will refer to what He says in the following verse as a parable (Matthew 15:11). That likely means they don't understand and assume Jesus is being purposefully obscure (Matthew 13:13). He's not: Jesus means for everyone to understand the meaning of this teaching.