In a news item, snake-handling and the drinking of poison in connection with religious services were reportedly banned by the Tennessee Supreme Court. Liston Pack, a lay pastor of the Holiness Church of God in Jesus Name near Newport in eastern Tennessee, had been barred by a cou … More
The Scribes and Pharisees joined forces and sent a delegation from Jerusalem to Galilee to investigate the ministry and teachings of Jesus and His disciples (v. 1). These religious leaders accused them of failing to observe the ceremonial washing of hands before eating (v. 2). This had nothing to do with cleanliness but was an elaborate washing ritual involving not only one’s hands but also cups, pitchers and kettles (Mark 7:3-4). This was a tradition of the Jewish elders that they had made the very foundation of their religious faith. We must beware of allowing religious customs and church rituals to take precedence over the clear Word of God. Just because something has been done in a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean it pleases God.
Our Lord’s reply to their charge was by asking them why they continued to break the direct command of God by failing to honor their father and mother (vv. 3-6). Exodus 20:12 taught a man to “honor” father and mother and yet they were using the “Corban” rule which was a very dishonorable thing. Their practice of “Corban” was a means of escaping financial responsibilities. They would simply say that a particular item was a gift they had devoted to God and could not be used by an individual. This was simply a clever way of keeping things from passing to one’s parents. This person would of course continue to keep those things in his own house for his own use. Jesus said such action was hypocritical (vv.7-8). Their religion had become merely a set of man-made rules and their worship was a farce (v. 9).
Tradition is something external, while God’s truth is internal. Unfortunately there are many “evangelical traditions” in churches today which are man-made teachings that are often considered as authoritative. God wants us to give Him our hearts and not just something we do outwardly.
Do we tend to put more emphasis on tradition than on developing a personal relationship with Christ? What can we do to reverse this tendency?
Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." He answered them, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' But you say, 'If anyone tells his father or his mother, "What you would have gained from me is given to God," he need not honor his father.' So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
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Matthew 12:1-14The Sabbath Law
Matthew 12:15-21Preaching Teaching and Healing
Matthew 12:22-37What is The Unpardonable Sin
Matthew 12:38-45Sign Seeking
Matthew 12:46-50Need For Personal Relationship With Jesus
Matthew 13:1-9Teaching in Parables
Matthew 13:10-17The Secret Message
Matthew 13:18-30The Parable of The Seeds
Matthew 13:24-35Stories About a Mustard Seed And Yeast
Matthew 13:36-43The Story About The Weeds
Matthew 13:44-52What The Kingdom of Heaven is Like
Matthew 13:53-58Jesus is Rejected in His Home Town
Matthew 14:1-12Herod Antipas’ False Assumption
Matthew 14:13-21Steps to Problem Solving
Matthew 14:22-36The Storms of Life
Matthew 15:1-9The Teaching of Ancestors
Matthew 15:10-20What Really Makes People Unclean
Matthew 15:21-28A Canaanite Women With Great Faith
Matthew 15:29-39Feeding The Four Thousand
Matthew 16:1-12The Religious Leader’s Demand
Matthew 16:13-20Peter’s Confession
Matthew 16:21-28Surrender to The Cross
Matthew 17:1-13The Transfiguration
Matthew 17:14-23Healing of The Epileptic Son
Matthew 17:24-27Jesus Pays The Temple Tax
Matthew 18:1-9The Need For Humility
Matthew 18:10-14New Babes in Christ
Matthew 18:15-20The Biblical Principles For Church Discipline
Matthew 18:21-35How Many Times Should We Forgive?