Easter Devotional – March 14

Matthew 15:1-9

Tradition and Commandment

Then some Pharisees and scribes *came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’ And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far away from Me.
But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”

Tradition and rules…do they have a place in society today? Jesus is not saying they don’t, He is merely warning that sometimes traditions and rules can take on a life of their own and produce man-made rules. The Pharisees were big on physical cleanliness. Jesus never said they shouldn’t be clean, He just wanted them (and us) to understand that the condition of the heart is more important than the outward appearance. The human heart is the source of the greatest pollution and only Jesus can purify it. Are you allowing Jesus to work in you to purify your heart? Or are you following man-made rules and human traditions?

Prayer: Lord, teach me to love You and to be transformed by Your holiness, saving me from human traditions.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

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