Matthew 15:1–6 (ESV)
Traditions and Commandments
15 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” 3 He
answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely
die.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” 6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the
sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.
I understand that the Pharisees had a hard time seeing Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus did not come
from the tribe of Levi which is the priestly tribe. And there is the fact that Jesus did not honor all their laws. They (Pharisees) had added to God’s laws, which means they had put man’s laws on the same level as God’s.
The laws that they had added on were passed down orally from generation to generation. They were later put into writing in the Mishnah. Jesus points out that while they claim they are righteous, they have failed in the Fourth Commandment.
Jesus points to the heart of the law instead of the letter of the law.
I pray: O Lord, help me to live the law out of love, but not as my way to heaven.
We are saved by grace, not by the law. Help me to trust your grace and mercy, but to walk in love. Amen.