You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

The Pharisees and teachers of the law accuse Jesus of not keeping the prevailing religious traditions. They were right! He didn’t teach His students to keep all their rules either.

Why not?

They seem harmless enough. A little ceremonial hand-washing here and little extra Sabbath rule-keeping there! What’s the harm?

The problem with these traditions - why the Teacher refused them – is that they were convenient substitutes for doing the more difficult things God really desired of them.

Jesus indicts this persistent tendency of religion:

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.

Jesus refuses to go along to get along!

Instead, the Teacher calls people back to the greater purposes of God’s commands – changed hearts and lives!

Keeping the proper outward ceremonial forms of tradition can never get to the heart of God. And therefore can never create in us the character of God.

Only becoming a student of Jesus leads to a changed heart and life. One that looks more and more like the Teacher!

Nothing else will do.

They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.

1 comment:

  1. So, what do we do that would fit into the lesson for today?

    What are we insistent upon that may be more tradition rather than teaching of Christ?

    What do we do taday that really doesn't mirror the example set in scriptures?

    Some things we have claimed "expedience for worship" with while arguing against things others would claim the same about.

    And as the Pharisees with hand washing, what if the things we do are harmless, yet are a substitute for following the Teacher closer? Is it ok to continue, or should we change?

    If we are scared to attempt to apply these lessons to ourselves, aren't we missing the point?