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THE DOCTRINE OF THE PHARISEES: TRADITION WORSHIPPERS

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27
Mark 7:1-13
Matthew 15:3

 

"… ye also transgress the commandment
of God by your tradition."

 

THE DOCTRINE OF THE PHARISEES: TRADITION WORSHIPPERS


The Pharisees not only received all the Old Testament books as of divine origin, but they also added to the authoritative revelation of God the traditions of the fathers. They attached such weight to the traditions of men that they practically regarded them to be of more importance than the inspired writings of the Old Testament.


Traditions are beliefs and practices handed down from one generation to the next either in writing or by memory. These can be precepts or customs not commanded in the written law, but which they held themselves bound to observe. The law is made void by their lowering of its demands and replacing it with the lesser demands of their traditions. The naked truth of God’s Word and the inventions which men contrive out of their own evil imaginations must be differentiated.


The Bible said that the Pharisees "except they wash their hands oft, eat not" (Mark 7:3). This custom of washing was applied not merely to their hands before eating, but also extended to their returning from the market. It also applied to pots, and cups, and brazen vessels and tables (Mark 7:3-4). It is well so long as they did it for the sake of cleanliness, but the problem arises when they made it into a matter of superstition. They regarded external purity of much more import than heart purity.


Are we guilty of breaching the divine command because of traditions? Are we afraid of transgressing the commandments of God because of man-made rules and regulations? Are we disregarding the laws of God because of our customs and indigenous practices? Be not a modern-day Pharisee by becoming a tradition worshipper!


THOUGHT: Am I a tradition worshipper?
PRAYER: "It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law. Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way" (Ps 119:126-128).