“For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban” (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
Memory Verse: “For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before Me,” says the Lord GOD.” Jeremiah 2:22
How many of you have traditions that you were born into or have had to adopt as a child and even introduce to your children as a way of life? Often these traditions are family generated principles or ideas that makes its way into our parent’s minds who then implement it into the family linage making it a family tradition which then passes down the line.
Such traditions keep going round in circles and whiles these is not meant to impact our lives negatively, sometimes it can usually contradict the word of God and at such we are left in-between what’s being done in our families and the right and Christ-like thing to do.
If you sometimes find yourself getting caught in the middle between God’s commandments and manmade traditions, then you are not alone in this boat. An unbeliever will usually not be worried as they just naturally go with the flow of the world and whatever the world serves on their plate, a way of life which for them is the norm. From a Christian perspective, children of God are not one to settle for less, they begin to struggle to find the right balance because they understand where they should really stand with the word of God.
In today’s bible text we see Jesus address this issue of intertwining tradition with Christ-like values. Just like most people today, the Pharisees and scribes always seem to know a lot but have perfected the act of selective obedience. They usually ask intentional questions not with the aim of clarifying but to create confusion. In light of this, who were they to know better than the author of wisdom Himself? and on this occasion they confronted Jesus asking “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” Mark 7:5
Just like these Pharisees, most of us are very zealous in obeying customs and traditions but have no regard for the commandments of God or His word. We think there are benefits to a lot of meaningless things and disregard things which are meaningful. The Pharisees would prefer to have clean hands and cups rather than a clean heart which God is more concerned about and as a result were focused on men pleasing than loving and fellowshipping with God.
It takes more than washing with water to be considered clean before the Lord as He is more concerned about our hearts, Psalm 24 :3-4, tells us the qualifications for standing with the Lord in his Holy place, “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.”Psalms 24:4. With this, we see that no matter how much we are physically washed clean in our body, we still do not qualify except we cleanse our heart.
Are you like the Pharisees and scribes being very careful to live by tradition but ignore the word of the Lord? Jesus never spent His time on earth condemning anyone for their sincerity of heart and respect for their tradition but He rightly pointed out their disobedience to the word of God in Exodus 20:12. Their tradition had changed the laws of God making the word of God non-effective.
Regardless of our traditions, we are still accountable to God for how we have lived on earth and are subject to God’s judgment for everything we do. In place of the word of God, a lot of traditions have invalidated the word of God and we have to be extremely careful on the part we tread daily.
As Gods children, we need to remember always that the word of God is our guide and the Holyspirit is always our helper. When in doubt, speak to God.
- Father I thank you for you are God alone and God over all
- Let me from today lay aside every weight of traditions that holds me back from fully serving you
- I renounce and denounce every confusion and interwoven traditions which distracts me from totally serving and worshipping you
- Cleanse me o Lord, and make me whole and be worthy of your calling
- Forgive my sins o Lord and remember my iniquities no more
- Have mercy on me O Lord and receive my sacrifice of praise, IJMN, AMEN.