Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Mark 7:5-7
One of the great debates in Christianity, even today is the traditions of Man vs the commandments of God. The religious leaders truly believed that they were righteous men, over the years they created many man-made traditions and expected the people to keep them or they would be punished. Jesus was eating with “unwashed hands” , the religious leaders felt this was a good time to publicly scold Jesus for not keeping one of their traditions
Now the ironic thing is these men felt they were righteous because they washed their hands before they ate, yet they are also the ones who killed the Messiah. Now which offense is greater? Pretty common sense, Jesus was using the moment to exploit the religious leaders as being hypocritical in their teachings and judgement, as the prophet Isaiah foretold about them.
For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. Mark 7:8-11
Now are all traditions bad? No of course not, for example most of the Christian Church today still celebrates Christmas for the birth of Christ. Was they ever commanded by Jesus to do? No, is it a harmful thing to do? No, actually a lot of good things come out of focusing on the virgin birth and the gospel of Christ. The only time when tradition becomes bad is when it is in opposition of God’s Law and when its used hypocritically
Jesus brought up the example of Corban, the religious leaders failed to take care of their elderly parents , breaking the commandment to honor your father and mother, instead gave their money to the temple as “Corban”. Jesus showed how hypocritical the religious leaders were, and they loved their religion more than they truly loved God
And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. Mark 7:13-14
Jesus explained, the traditions of the religious leaders were actually overriding The Law of God, the religious leaders basically we’re creating their own religion. We see this alot today, many groups just keep adding their own traditions and eliminating The Bible.
We need to make sure everything we do and everything we say, is for the true love of God and not for our own hypocritical ways, Amen!