1Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. 2 Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”.6 He answered and 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.
7 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” 9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), 12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.” – (Mark 7:1-13)
In the scripture text above, the Pharisees thought that their religious acts was something that pleased God. These traditions were passed down from generation to generation. It had become the norm and nobody questioned it or the motives behind it. I mean, it must have been OK, right? Wrong. Jesus rebuked them for a number of reasons. As well as their hypocrisy, he stressed the fact (many times) that they had held up their traditions above the commandments of God. What they thought was pleasing to God was actually done in vain.
Well things have not changed. In Christianity today, there are many traditions that Christians have accepted as the norm from generation to generation and have not questioned it even though there is no biblical basis for them. It has become so entrenched in Christendom that we accept it on the same level playing field as the scriptures.
Well I have decided to address some of these traditions in my next series of posts. My goal is to challenge you not to ‘go with the flow’ of what everybody else is doing but to try and find these traditions in the scriptures yourself. Start questioning what you have been taught and start studying (not just reading) the bible for yourself like the Bereans (Acts 17:11).