After they had crossed the lake, they landed at Gennesaret.35
When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed.36
They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.
Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him,2
“Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”
3Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?4For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’5But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’6In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.7You hhypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
8‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9Their worship is a farce,
The Pharisees in this story are doing something we all want to do: use tradition to support what we want to believe. The Pharisees wanted to be able to take a donation that clearly needed to be used to support the child’s parents, so they found a way around the clear command of God. We have all done it and will likely to do it again. Be careful.
The best defense against adding our own “traditions” to the scripture is to be simple and apply it to yourself. When you read the Word, pray first. This cannot be over-emphasized. Then read it and apply it to your own life. As soon as you hear yourself saying “so-and-so should read this” because you think it points out another’s error, you are likely missing the message God has for you. Now, if you read something and you think, “this would really encourage so-and-so right now”, go ahead and share with them. Be uplifting whenever you can. When you think scripture is pointing a finger, point it at yourself first.
Lord, use your word to change me. Help me see the lesson for me every day. Help me accept your clear simplicity, and also the limitations of my own understanding. Please Lord, be alive in me and stir my soul with your words. Beginner’s Online Bible Study *obbs*