MUSINGS – October 17, 2018
The Pharisees and some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. They saw that some of his disciples were unclean because they ate without washing their hands. (The Pharisees, like all other Jewish people, don’t eat unless they have properly washed their hands. They follow the traditions of their ancestors. When they come from the marketplace, they don’t eat unless they have washed first. They have been taught to follow many other rules. For example, they must also wash their cups, jars, brass pots, and dinner tables.)
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples follow the traditions taught by our ancestors? They are unclean because they don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
Jesus told them, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites in Scripture: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is pointless, because their teachings are rules made by humans.’ “You abandon the commandments of God to follow human traditions.” He added, “You have no trouble rejecting the commandments of God in order to keep your own traditions! For example, Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a person tells his father or mother that whatever he might have used to help them is corban (that is, an offering to God), he no longer has to do anything for his father or mother.’ Because of your traditions you have destroyed the authority of God’s word. And you do many other things like that.”
This is an unusual confrontation between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees. In most of the recorded conflicts they have, the Pharisees ask a question of Jesus for the purpose of trapping him. Jesus in turn asks the Pharisees a country question that they either can’t answer it are afraid the answer.
Jesus did not counter their question with a question this time. He went on the offensive and attacked them directly and specifically. He points out how they use manmade traditions to circumvent the laws of God.
My first reaction is, “Go get ’em, Jesus!” But one of my favorite study technically it’s put myself into the story. I’ll try to see it through The eyes of all those involved. I can be comfortable putting myself in as one of the disciples or even Jesus. But as I look through The eyes of the religious leaders, I become very uncomfortable. I am them. That makes me question my own traditions. Do they really line up with the Holy Scriptures or do I just follow them because that is what I was taught?
How about you? Are you willing to dive into the scriptures and seek the truths for yourself? Or will you just accept what you’ve been taught?
Here is an example: “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” You’ve heard it before, right? Do you believe it? Don’t. It’s not scriptural, not found in the Bible. As a matter of fact it is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught. He taught that the Lord helps those who rely on Him and follow His commandments.
Are you willing to accept what I just said? Or will you study to show yourself approved? (2 Timothy 2:15)
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