A Break with Tradition?
God, You are full of light and truth. You see the heart and do not look as humans look. Thank You.
Read Matthew 15:1-20
 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,  “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”  Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?  For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’  But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’  they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.  You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:  “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.  They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.'”  Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.  What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”  Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”  He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.  Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”  Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”  “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them.  “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?  But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.  For out of the heart come evil thoughts-murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you prioritize things that God counts unimportant?
I have a friend who is reluctant to play Scrabble with us, not because that she thinks we cheat, but some of our “traditions” aren’t in the rule book. Nevertheless it is all very light-hearted.Not so when the Pharisees got on the subject of tradition. They paid a great deal of attention to anything they saw as flouting the rules of the elders (2), and they could not wait to challenge Jesus on the behavior of his disciples. But he is more than able to answer them, pointing out the discrepancies in their codes and showing them that they are placing importance on wrong things (3-6). Traditions can be good and helpful in their place, but they are only a part of the whole picture of life. And if they assume too much importance, they can actually lead to harm. Jesus’ view of honoring father and mother is different from that of the Pharisees. By devoting things to God that could have helped their parents (5,6), they are far from doing the best for them.
What priorities need correcting in your life today? Pray about any relationships you may need to put right.
Father of lights, I want Your light to shine in my heart. Help me to live a life that reflects what truly matters to You.
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