In the book of Mark we read of an instance when certain Pharisees and scribes confronted Jesus about the fact that some of his disciples were eating bread without first washing their hands – a specific ritual of hand washing being a tradition of the elders.
Jesus called them hypocrites, stating that while they honored Him with their lips, theIr hearts were far from Him. He said that it was in vain that they worshiped Him teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Jesus said that they rejected the commandment of God in order that they might keep their own traditions.
What had happened is that the scribes and Pharisees had added their own rules and regulations to the laws of our Creator – man made traditions – some of which, if accepted, made the commandments of God impossible to keep.
We know from other scripture passages that Jesus openly violated some of those traditions such as healing a man on the sabbath – demonstrating that it is not wrong to do good on the sabbath day.
Today there are those who would lead us to believe that the fact that Jesus healed on the sabbath proves that we no longer have to concern ourselves with the fourth commandment – that Jesus himself broke that commandment.
But no – Jesus was falsely accused of breaking that commandment, when in fact all that He did was disregard the commandments of men that made it impossible to keep. He never broke any of the commandments, for if He had done so, He would not qualify as a sinless sacrifice.
In our day and age, just as in times past, religious leaders continue to reject the commandments of God in order that they might keep their own traditions: Not traditions that add to our Creators commandments but rather traditions that attempt to abrogate or do away with the commandments that He wrote in stone.
Some would tell us that as believers, under grace, we no longer have to concern ourselves with those commandments – while at the same time, aspects of worship, known to be pagan in origin, such as Easter, Christmas and Sunday rest – traditions of men – are defended. With the first four commandments gone – anything and everything can be ascribed to the worship of our Creator.
We have an adversary who cares not whether we add to God’s commandments or whether take away from them just as long as we are off the narrow path that leads to life.
Let us recall the admonition of the Psalmist: The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. The Lord himself will preserve His words forever and no man will ever add to or subtract from them.
Beware lest any man spoil YOU through philosophy and vain deceit, after the TRADITIONS OF MEN, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints,
I’m Richard Rives, with Just the Facts