Should We Wash our Hands? What Jesus Said about God’s Commands and Our Traditions
August 21, 2022
A Chapter a Day
- Sunday, August 21, Matthew 19
- Monday, August 22, Matthew 20
- Tuesday, August 23, Matthew 21
- Wednesday, August 24, Matthew 22
- Thursday, August 25, Matthew 23
- Friday, August 26, Matthew 24
- Saturday, August 27, Matthew 25
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Matthew 15:1-20 (ESV)
15 Then 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.”
- It’s not unusual for people to be upset when someone with their .
3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
- It’s important for us to distinguish between commands and traditions.
4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” 6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
- We must always give more to the clear commands of God’s word than we do our traditions.
- We may our traditions, but we are not at liberty to God’s word.
10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
- Some will be by our fidelity to the truth of God’s word.
15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
- God is more concerned about the internal transformation of my than he is my external, punctilious practice of religious rituals (which may be little more than human traditions).
The process of lasting spiritual change:
heart → →
- We should pay careful attention to things Jesus says should be removed from our hearts and lives:
(1) Evil thoughts
(4) Sexual immorality
(6) False witness
- We should differentiate between three types of people:
(1) The person who rejects God, his existence, his authority, and his commands altogether – the .
(2) the person who “presents” as one thing while purposefully and deceitfully “being” another – the .
(3) a person with an acknowledged “sanctification gap” that they are asking God to help them eliminate as they follow Jesus – the maturing .
Change my heart, O God!