Mk. 7:1-13-The Pharisees question Jesus concerning what they call the “traditions of the elders” (:5). They had many of these practices: “and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe” (:4). Jesus refers to them as the “precepts of men” (:7), and says that the Pharisees had elevated them to the level of “doctrines” (:7) and “the commandment of God” (:9)…and, even allowed them to surpass them in importance (:8). He then gives a specific example in reference to the 5th Commandment…and their teaching concerning “Corban” (this word comes from the Hebrew word for “offering”, cf. Lev. 2:1,4,12,13; 7:13; 9:7,15). Their tradition allowed a man to give money to the Temple that should have been used to support his parents (Ryrie-Evidently, too, he was not really obliged to devote that sum to the temple.). Jesus says that this is their way of getting around the commands of God…by substituting their own teachings.
Prayer: Lord, please keep me from any traditions, or teachings, or attitudes that do not come from You. As I read Your Word I see that there are many traditions that are rich and meaningful…but don’t let me merely value the form, the shadow, and not the substance. Help me to see the true spirit and intent of what we do…and not just keep the letter of the law. I pray that my worship and service will be pleasing to You…and that I don’t just go through the motions.