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Study to GROW


By Doug Bell


Matthew 15:

1 Then some 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 bread.”

3 And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

4 “For God said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.’

5 “you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,

6 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.

7 “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

8 ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,

BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.

9 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,

TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’

*****

The question that the Pharisees and Scribes were asking Jesus “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” This reminded me of when I was young and didn’t have very good hygiene. Before taking a bath or eating a meal, my mother would always remind me, “remember, cleanliness is next to godliness.” Now, this thought is NOT in the Bible, but has become a tradition for many. And traditions, in and of themselves, can have a way of becoming a ‘Law’ for many that can never be broken! In fact, traditions have a way of becoming more important than what God has said in his Word! This, is what had happened to the religious leaders of Jesus day.

God had given Israel the 10 Commandments as a condensed list, in order to have a civilized society. But instead of just taking God at his word, the religious leaders took the 10 commandments, and broke them down into 613 smaller commandments to explain the ten. But, by the time we come to Jesus, their Man-made precepts were more valuable to them than what the Scriptures “actually” had taught!

The Pharisees and Scribes had taken the fifth commandment and turned it on its ear.

Instead of “For God said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.’ Their ‘interpretation’ of it said that if you had money needed by your parents, you could simply say that money was “Corban.” Loosely translated meaning that it is “set aside for God.” And so Jesus tells them,

5 “you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,

6 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”.

How terrible it is, when those who claim to love God ”INVALIDATE THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR TRADITION.”

Jesus was correct when He said such people were nothing but Hypocrites! Actors who are simply playing a part, but who have never really been transformed within. It is no wonder Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”


How are we to distinguish between the “True” disciple and the false? Again, the Lord tells us;

8 ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,

BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.

9 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,

TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’


Notice the “False” disciples:

  • ’Talk’ as if they really love God

  • But, their ’Lives’ prove they are false

  • Their ’Worship’ is also a farce

  • Because, they care for “worldly teachings”, rather than God's Word!

What should we do?

Listen to what the Aposle John tells us,

1 John 4:

5 They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them.

6 We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

We are then to follow and listen ONLY to those who are following and teaching the Scriptures alone as God's Word.

1 John 2: 15 “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

By this ”we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

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