Matthew 15

Vs 1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,

Vs 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.”

VS 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?

Vs 4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’

Vs 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,”

Vs 6 he need not honor his father.’ So, for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.

Vs 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

Vs 8 “‘This people honors me with their lips,
    but their heart is far from me;

Vs 9 in vain do they worship me,
    teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”



Jesus and the Pharisees debate the “traditions of the elders” versus the “commandments of God”.

The “traditions” argued for by the elders were about trivial matters such as hand washing. This was a concern regarding outward appearance.

The “commandment” mentioned by Jesus was about something much more significant … and internal.

First, it was the clear word of God. Second, it was about the family relationship between parent and child.

So, both contexts were about “honor” (God & parents) and the elders were destroying this honor for the sake of their own.

They wanted to honor their own traditions, which elevated their own status.



What are my traditions? … Not in the sense of what do I do annually or each year on a certain occasion.

But what do I do on a regular, repeated basis? What are my behavioral patterns that I fall into?

What are my daily “habits”? This will show me what I “honor”.

Do I honor the “commands” of God? Or do I honor the “demands” of the day?

What am I inclined to? What elevates me and my status or recognition among my peers or colleagues?

Or am I inclined to what elevates God?

When I make intentions to honor God … is it “lip service” or is it true “worship”?

It’s easy to talk about doing the things I’m doing as if it’s for God … but is it … really?

I can make almost anything seem “holy” and “honorable” if I sprinkle the right language on it.

The Pharisees made ignoring their parents seem like it was honoring to God!

Who am I ignoring? …

What “tradition” or “habit” or “behavior” am I honoring over God and the people He puts around me?

Oh God … call me out like Jesus did the Pharisees when I’m lying to myself like that!



God, thank you for your word and commands.

Open my eyes to where I fail

Thank you for your forgiving

Thank you that you see Jesus when you see me

Remind of your command when I am inclined to my traditions

In Jesus name