Traditions of Men

The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” Mark 7:5

Jesus was eating with his disciples when the Pharisees were quick to condemn them because some of them were eating with dirty hands. The Pharisees were probably waiting for this moment, to find something to condemn “the Christians” for, however Jesus is going to turn this into a teaching moment for them

And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’  Mark 7:6-7

Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah, to show these guys God already foretold about them. While these men believed they were in the “God club” , God was not impressed with them at all. Why? Because their hearts were not pure.

Instead of Loving God and Love Your Neighbor as God commanded us, they tried to earn their salvation by works. This was a moral issue and not a legal issue, like they believed

“Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” Mark 7:8

The Pharisees neglected the basic laws of God, they elevated themselves through traditions. Jesus used the example of “Honor your Mother and Father” (Mark 7:10) The Pharisees claim to be righteous yet don’t even care for their own parents, even though the Mosaic Law says they should be put to death for disobeying this Law (Leviticus 20:9)

The Pharisees created a tradition called “Corban” ( Mark 7:11) which they believed vainly overrode Gods Law. The Pharisees would keep money for themselves , which they labeled “Corban, instead of providing for their elderly parents because they wanted a greater status among men.

Jesus is telling them their tradition doesn’t honor God, in fact it breaks Gods Law. So before we go around condemning people, what are our intentions? Are we just trying to be legalist or is there a moral issue going on here?

Remember Jesus commanded us to Love God with all our mind, hearts, and soul and to Love our Neighbor as ourselves, this fulfills all the Laws of God Amen!

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