The scribes and Pharisees would say this to their parents to avoid having to materially support them. They used the excuse that whatever material possessions they had was a gift dedicated to God and therefore not able to be used for their parent's benefit, even though their parents may have been in need. This was a gross deception of the scribes and Pharisees and Jesus rebuked them for it. It was not required by God but was a device of men to circumvent their duty to their parents. This dishonoured the parents and nullified God's commandment that parents are to be honoured by their children (CP Mk 7:5-13). This helps us to better understand Mt 15:1-9.
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