In Mathew 15:1-20 we find Jesus being confronted by the Scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem. They question His allowing His disciples to " Eat before washing their hands". That seems like a pretty small issue in the scope of all the other big issues of life they were faced with in leading the Jews. But that was their main concern and important question they wanted an answer from Jesus about. But in reality they did not want an answer, they were only challenging Him and attempting to reveal that He was breaking the law. Yet Jesus answered their question with a question of His own. He asks them, WHY do you break God's laws with your on traditions? Then he proceeds to point out one of their traditions which allowed them to keep their money or possessions even when their parents were in need. They could escape the honoring and caring for their parents by saying their assets were dedicated to the Lord and thus they could not give it for the help of meeting the needs of their mother or father.
Jesus knew their hearts. He also knew that the washing of hands before eating was also a tradition of the Elders not a law of God's Word. Yet the Pharisees had added more an more traditional laws to the original laws of God and in reality they were defending the opinions of man much more than the opinions and laws of God.
Now that is very serious indeed. It is an age old problem with man. We tend to listen to our own opinions or the opinions of others more than we do God's Word. Even today we see this over and over again. And many of today' spiritual leaders are as guilty of this as was the Pharisees in the days of Christ. Opinions and thoughts that are not found in God's Word's. We need to be so careful in whose opinions we are listening to. Because WHAT WE BELIEVE AFFECTS HOW WE BEHAVE !
Let me attempt to illustrate how this is playing out in our present time.
MANS OPINION ! GOD'S WORD!
Marriage can include the same sex! Marriage is with the opposite sex !
( Genesis 2:22-24 )
Life begins at birth! Life begins at conception!
( Psalm 139:13-16 )
Church can be attended less & less ! Church is to be attended more & more!
( Hebrews 10:25 )
Wine, beer & hard liquor is accepted! Wine, beer, & liquor is to be avoided!
( Proverbs 20: 1 )
Cheap grace denies sanctification! God's grace leads to sanctification!
( John 17 )
Hell is not real! Hell is real !
( Rev 21:8, Matthew 25: 4-6)
Don't share the gospel personally! Share the gospel personally! (don't disturb others) ( Matthew 28:12-20, 16:18-19)
We should care for those who can We should not care for those who can
work and will not! work and will not care for themselves.
( 2nd Thess 3:12, Eph 4:28)
A lax attitude toward sin! A serious attitude toward sin!
( 1st Peter 4:17 )
Nakedness and immodesty are OK ! Nakedness and immodesty are not OK !
( 1st timothy 2:9-10 )
Mercy killing or taking your own life is Life is given and taken by the Lord !
acceptable! It is your life , do as you please! He alone is to decide when !
( Psalm 100:3, Acts 17:25, 1st Cor 6:19-20)
These are just a few areas where we see the opinions of humans attempting to set the standards. Also I have chosen just a few Bible verses to defend the Biblical view where I could have presented dozens. God's Word should always be the standard for God's redeemed children. May we beware of traditions and adhere to the clear WORD of GOD!
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 28 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.