Matthew 15:1–9 (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. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8 “ ‘This
people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
Jesus is dealing with questions of Law when He criticizes placing man-made traditions above God’s Commandments. God’s
Law and Gospel dare never be subordinated to human teachings and rules. Jesus came to fulfill every aspect of the Law, that He might be our perfect Savior.
I pray: Lord Jesus Christ, keep me faithful to Your Word, which is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Ps 119:105). Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible
(St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1613.