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Know God in a Year #120 Tradition!

It is the third Passover since Jesus began his ministry. The Pharisees and scribes have carefully thought out a trap for him.

Knowing this, Jesus avoids them, but they seek him out asking, “Why don’t your disciples observe the traditions of the elders?”

Necessary background is: the traditions, added to the law to “help” people observe it, had become more honored than the actual law itself. If the two were in question, tradition was considered more sacred.

Ceremonial purification and hand-washing were strenuously enforced to the point of absurdity–considering it righteous to destroy those who ignored it! There were so many rules about washing and purification that you could barely learn them in a lifetime! The practice of religion had become an endless struggle against defilement.

This is always Satan’s resistance to relationship with God. Get them so focused on trifling distinctions, not required by God, that they miss the main points of His law–love, fairness, and mercy.  Focus them on themselves. Fill them with disputing some minor point so they miss the living reality of God’s law right in front of them–Jesus.

In front of all the people, their trusted teachers ask Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples wash before eating?”

All ears are tuned to his answer. This has been the burden of their lives: cleansing–getting it right.

Jesus didn’t even dignify their question by addressing it, but went straight to exposing their hypocrisy. “You reject the law of God instructing you to honor father and mother by teaching people to observe tradition!”

(continued tomorrow)

Matthew 15:1-3,   Mark 7:1-6


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