I love when people who don’t know much about Jesus tell me that Jesus was different than the God in the Old Testament who wasn’t afraid to call people out on their hypocrisy and sins. Todays text shows us otherwise. The Pharisees, the religious people of the day, ask Jesus why they break the elders’ traditions and Jesus snaps back at them asking why they break God’s commandments for man-made traditions. He could’ve easily dropped the mic right there but instead he gives them the proof of the 5th Commandment and then proceeds to call them hypocrites and shows them that their hypocrisy is fulfilling the prophecy made in Isaiah about those who will worship in vain. Later the disciples warn Jesus that He offended them (the irony of people warning God that He offended them instead of the latter) and Jesus reminds them that what we eat, drink or do with our hands doesn’t matter compared to what comes out of our mouth from the heart.
So what does this have to do with us today?
- Let’s not make Jesus out to be some peace-making hippie concerning sin and hypocrisy. Jesus had to die on the cross for our sins to make peace between His Father and man. There is grace but that grace comes with a great cost, Jesus’ life. Jesus did come to save the sick, not the healthy but he’s not afraid to label the sickness whether it’s religious hypocrites or any other sin.
- Let’s take heed to not fall into the same trap as the Pharisees when prioritizing man-made traditions over God’s Word. It’s very easy for churches to make the same mistakes with our rules and regulations that may have worked before or that we have attached great spiritual mountain top memories with but if they replace our God given commands from His word then Jesus may as well be talking about us.
By: Erik Koliser