You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
“‘These people honour me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’”
Matthew 15: 7 – 9
The law can be a very contentious thing. They are many different laws that have been written down, put into practise, told to follow. Then as time continues, new laws are written which update or cancel out previous laws. Where there are different sets of laws, there will be some people who will follow one sets of laws, which suit them better, while different laws will be followed by other people because those work better for them.
The Pharisees, who are being called out in this passage, have been using a set of laws which were passed down from their elders. They have chosen to follow those laws instead of following the Ten Commandments, which were passed down to Moses from God, and have been passed down through the generations. They say that they are religious people, and yet they are not following the teachings and laws of God. They are paying Jesus lip service, but not actually following the ways of Jesus.
There are many things which govern how we live our lives today. There are some things which we are good at following, but I am sure there are some things which we would like to ignore. In a time when there are a lot of rules around what we can and cannot in terms of daily life with this pandemic, there are things we do and do well. There are also rules which we don’t like, and would like to not follow, because they get in the way of our daily routines. The question becomes, which ones become more important, what is more comfortable for us, or that which promotes the health and safety of the people around us.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, in a time when we are discerning how to live our lives daily, and care for others through the choices we make, may we keep your laws front and centre to love the Lord our God will all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbour front and centre, and let this guide our lives.
Action: Notice what you allow to govern your choices about how you live your daily life. Which voice speaks louder, the voice of comfort or the voice of God which reminds you of the law which he has given us to live our lives by daily?