Jesus was focused on the mission, present the clearest picture of God and what it means to be in relationship with Him. Jesus’s greatest obstacles to that remained the religous leadership. In their continued effort to somehow upend Jesus and His ministry, they were constantly exposing their disregard for God, often most evident in their religous practice.
Jesus remained saddened to see the very people placed in authority, acting as the barriers between the people and God. He called them out. “Your traditions are the very things that stand between you and God.”
Traditions are great, until they become the focus of the religion–instead of God. Most Jewish traditions started in response to a desire to honor God–but, as men continued to lead, the traditions became more important than God Himself. Jesus tried, time and again, to show the people that if they would simply focus on loving and following God, the rituals, rules and traditions would be obsolete.
In our lives, we are tempted to fall into the same trap. We replace our focus on God with rules and traditions regarding church attendence, denominational superiority or charitable acts. We begin to think that if we do enough of those things–we will somehow be earning our spiritual stripes. Jesus reminds us that if we allow traditions to remain our focus, rather than God, then we will miss the best by chasing the good. It still reflects back to Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
God focuses on Hos relationship with us. The religous acts, to Him are nice as long as they act as accessory to faith not a replacement. He simply wants us to trust and follow him through this part of our lives; so, we can enjoy eternity with Him!
God Bless You
Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 “‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’”
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.