October 9, 2018
Matthew 15:1-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
Centuries after the Israelites were released from Babylonian captivity, they were still teaching and practicing religious rituals that had been added to God’s law during their captivity. The laws God handed down to his people were about fostering a loving relationship with Him and with everyone else; a picture of a worshiper. God’s fifth commandment is: “honor father and mother so your days may be long…,” yet the traditions of man, in our reading, had strangely become equal with the commands of God.
Every day we must invite God to cleanse us from incorrect thinking and impure motives; to lay our lives down as living sacrifices holy and acceptable to God. Our worship of him depends on the Truth we are willing to believe and live. Worship is agreement and oneness with God. Worship is an internal individual action based on the authority of Christ we are willing to yield to with our daily lives. Clearly, we are either in agreement with God’s Word as worshipers or our worship can sadly become a farce.
Matthew 15:1-9 Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity
15 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, 2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? 4 For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship is a farce,
for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’”
Prayer: Lord, help me to focus on the heart of your commands and remember everything you have laid out for me to follow in your word will always be about loving you and others. Please help me keep my worship of you based on the truth of your heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.