Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
by: Paula Davis.
There is nothing wrong with traditions…until we put them above the truth of God’s commands and the leading of the Holy Spirit. When we allow the things we do in our Christian lives to become more important than loving people, we not only fall short of honoring God but risk driving away the people who need Him. The Pharisees spent a lot of time pointing out the flaws in others—perhaps worshipping traditions more than the God they said they were serving. Let us be sure we welcome others with the love of Christ that lives inside of us and not just with a list of traditions for them to follow.