March 18, 2015
READ: Mark 7:5-15
Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God (v.7).
Good morning,” the flight attendant said cheerily. “Welcome to Flight 0000 to Greenville- Spartanburg.”
“That’s very funny,” several of us said, or words to that effect. To which the flight attendant replied, “You’re joking, right?”
Greenville and Spartanburg may be fine cities. But none of us on that particular plane wanted to go there that day. Across the tarmac sat another jet in a similar situation, with one notable exception. The passengers on that plane did want to go to Greenville-Spartanburg.
Four times airline representatives had checked each passenger’s boarding pass! But, somehow, we had all been directed to the wrong flight. The employees had authority, but they were sincerely wrong.
Some religious teachers once came to Jesus to challenge Him about the behaviour of His disciples. It seems the disciples weren’t keeping the time-honoured tradition of ceremonial handwashing. Jesus countered the religious leaders’ concerns with a stark passage from Isaiah: “These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Mark 7:6; Isaiah 29:13). Then He said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition” (Mark 7:9). Those leaders had reached the wrong conclusion because their premise was faulty. They thought scrupulous rule-keeping would impress God.
Adhering to tradition and rules is like getting on the wrong plane. We can earnestly believe we’re on the right course, but it can never take us where we want to go. God calls us to follow the One who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Jesus and God’s Word lead to the right destination every time.
365-day plan: Ruth 4:1-22
Read Matthew 15:12-20 to see Jesus’ thoughts on following blind guides.
What was wrong with the tradition of the Pharisees? What dangers can come from completely disregarding your traditions?