MATTHEW 15: LIPSERVICE
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’"
MATTHEW 15:8-9, QUOTING ISAIAH 29:13
Ever get one of those "gifts" where the person donates to a charity "in your honor"?
Nothing like doubling up on the moral high ground! You give to charity and get credit for giving a relative a gift!
The teachers of the law and sect of the Pharisees did something like this but more seriously unjust and oppressive, even to their family members. They had a little thing called "Corban" that was like the card you give saying, "I've donated to my favorite charity in your honor."
They would say to their aging parents, "Any assistance I would have otherwise given to you, I'm giving to God instead."
Jesus says they are robbing the authority of God's teaching in favor of their traditions (and probably their stinginess).
What do we do like this, things more serious than charity in someone else's name? First, what teaching are we "setting aside," as Jesus accused the Pharisees. Then what is the outcome of our setting the authority of God's law aside? The outcome of the Pharisees setting aside the command to "Honor your father and mother" in order to "give to God" impacted the well-being of their parents and dishonored God at the same time.
Lord, help us to not set aside the of Jesus for convenience and selfish reasons. Amen.
Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.