The Pharisees gathered around to find fault with Jesus and asked Him a question; “Why don’t your disciples live according to the traditions of the elders?” I believe it was really more of an accusation.
Jesus strongly confronted them by calling them play-actors (hypocrites) and gave a quotation from Isaiah 29:13 about those who pretended to worship God but their hearts were far away from Him. He then said ‘You have let go the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men’.
Today this statement causes me to pause and wonder whether any of us are doing the same. Are our hearts close or far away from God? Do we put traditions ahead of the commands of God? What is our highest value in life? Is it to do the will of God? If so then do we allow ourselves to be controlled by traditions that are not in line with God’s will?
Do we do things which others expect us to although they’re not right in God’s eyes? It’s not an easy thing to be different from those around us in our job, family, school (or even church). The line of least resistance is to do things to keep others happy, to agree with their ideas, but then afterwards, before God in the secret place, we feel ashamed.
Followers of Jesus are to be salt and light for this world. This might mean that some will disapprove of our values, ideas, opinions and way of life. We might be rejected, ridiculed or sneered at. On the other hand someone might discover God’s truth through our influence. What a privilege to make it possible for someone else to enter the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly father, may I never deny You or Your son Jesus by failing to stand up for the truth that I know. Help me to be a witness for You and bring light into the darkness of this world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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