Saturday, February 21, 2015
Saturday Sermonette - On the Road to Golgotha: Part 1 (Honoring Traditions)
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?”
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. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 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.” Mark 7:5-8, NKJV
Every time Jesus scolded the Pharisees or Saducees, He took one step closer to Golgotha and the cross waiting for Him there. From the world's point of view, that wasn't the smartest thing to do. Jesus wasn't interested in the worldly viewpoint thought. He had his eyes on the horizon.
In this series I'm going to try to describe a hypocrisy or two. Take a close look. You might find a good friend or an enemy among the accused--or your might find yourself there. I hope if you do you will use the story to help who you are and what you will become. I hope you will take one step closer to Him and walk by His side on His dusty road of heartaches on the way to Golgotha.
In this scripture, Jesus noted that the hypocrites honored traditions but not God. They seemed to want more to be honored than to give God honor. Something I found over my career with the Government was that rules were made because someone abused a privilege. People didn't like the rules, but you know something? We probably hated the bazillion regs worse than the public.
In the Jewish traditions, learned rabbis began by trying to define what God meant by "Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy." Maybe because people thought they could push the boundaries just a little further. Know anyone like that?
Lord, open our eyes that we might see ourselves as You see us--not just as faulty humans but as forgiven and growing. Amen