And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? …And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. —Matthew 15:2, 6
Hypocrites! Many people say that is why they do not want anything to do with church. Unfortunately, sometimes those who are “religious” do give opportunity for those who do not attend church to see their hypocrisy. Nobody is perfect so I am not talking about failing on occasion and we need to be transparent about that. No Christian is perfect. What I am talking about is not being obedient to the Word of God just to keep some “religious” tradition even though it can have a negative affect on those who do not attend church. Christians need to make sure they are being loving obedient to the Word of God and not to some tradition that can have a negative affect on people.
This is what Jesus was talking about in the context of the verses above. By keeping the tradition of ceremonial hand washing and wanting to force others to do the same, the religious leaders were violating the direct commands of God and making void the Word of God because of it. They were being hypocritical— claiming to be something that they were not. They were acting a part and it was having a negative affect on people.
May we as followers of Jesus live according to His Word faithfully so if anyone speaks against us it is for loving and living for Jesus and not for some man-made tradition that makes us look like hypocrites. There will always be those not following Jesus that will seek to find something wrong about those who are following Him, but let us not give them an occasion to do so. When we fail, may we be honest and up front about it and not make it look like we are something we are not—- perfect. That perfection will only be fully known once we get to heaven, but let us live faithfully for the Lord now. May it be so.
Dear Father, please help me not to cling to any tradition instead of Your Word. May I live faithfully in Jesus and not give an occasion for those who do not know Him to blaspheme His Name on account of me. Instead, by the way I live and by what I speak may I impact others in such a way that they would come to Jesus. May this be so!