Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly,[a] holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.[b] And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.[c]) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he 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;
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban”’ (that is, given to God)[d]— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
This passage is powerfully relevant to life and culture in 2015. There is a lot of bad theology and a lot of bad teaching being offered under the umbrella of Christendom. When analyzing Scripture, especially the words of Jesus, I ask the following:
1. What was the intended meaning for the original hearers?
2. What is the eternal principle?
3. What interpretation is most consistent with the whole of Scripture?
In this passage, Jesus makes a critical point: ceremonial practices like washing hands in a certain way were NEVER as critical as laws regarding relationships. Though Jesus is specifically addressing the traditions of the Pharisees, this also holds true for the dietary laws.
Let’s apply the process to THE hot button issue today. Regarding sexual practices: 1. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God has made clear his plan for one man to be in a monogamous relationship with one woman under the sacred union of marriage. 2. The eternal principle that God intends is for the two (one man and one woman) to become one. 3. There is no place in Scripture where there is ANY indication that God has repealed or altered this expectation.
Currently, there is a militant drive to replace the commands of God with the traditions of men.