Breaking the traditions of the Elders!
Breaking the tradition of the Elders
Introduction: In any society traditions develop as beliefs and practices are handed on from one generation to the next. The Jews of Jesus' day had many traditions. Jesus was not opposed to Jewish traditions. In fact, he kept some of them himself (Luke 4:16; John 10:22-23). But he was opposed to the teaching of traditions as binding on people. The Jewish leaders taught human traditions as if they were God's commandments; worse still, they rejected the444 genuine commandments of God in order to keep their traditions (Mark 7:7-13; cf. Col 2:8).
I) The scribes & Pharisee’s went out of their way to find Jesus and comment on something that they had observed in the conduct of the disciples.
1 – What lies behind some seemingly innocent questions?
II) Jesus had the answer: 3 He answered them, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
1- A promise made, a promise broken, there are a lot of times when even the best intended word of man, brings you in opposition to the Word of God!
III) Jesus spoke to the inward condition of those who had sought him out 6 So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said: 8 'This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.'"
1 – We all need to be careful just what we receive, in the modern day church, so much nice sounding opinion is being passed off as coming straight out of the mouth of God!
IV) There came a point within these verses when Jesus did something that made the leaders angry and began to put into motion the human anger that in the minds of men with an agenda justified the cross.10 Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, "Listen and understand: As long as the conversation was a debate between the leaders; all was well but when Jesus made the debate public, when he told the crowd: listen & understand that fueled an anger in some men!
V) 10 Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, "Listen and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles."
VI) 12 Then the disciples approached and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?"
VII) 13 He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit."
VIII) 15 But Peter said to him, "Explain this parable to us." 16 Then he said, "Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19 For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile."
1 - there are and always have been two basic religions in the world. There is the religion that stresses the outside and the religion that stresses the inside.
⇒ External religion says be physically and morally clean. Internal religion says be spiritually regenerated and made into a new creature.
⇒ External religion says that if a person keeps the outside clean then the inside will be clean. Internal religion says that if a person is clean on the inside then he will keep the outside clean.
⇒ External religion develops a system of laws to govern behavior. Internal religion behaves out of a heart of love and respect for God and man.
⇒ External religion says be faithful to religion (the church) and its practices and moral teachings and you will be clean. Internal religion says be cleansed within by Christ and you will be faithful to the church and live justly.
⇒ External religion is a man-made religion of ritual, ceremony, laws, and works. Internal religion is God's religion based upon His Son Jesus Christ who changes or recreates the heart of man.
Illustration: A devout Christian who had a cat used to spend several minutes each day at prayer and meditation in his bedroom. He read a portion of Scripture and a devotional book, followed by a period of silent meditation and prayer. As time went on his prayers became longer and more intense.
He came to cherish this quiet time in his bedroom, but his cat came to like it, too. She would cozy up to him, purr loudly, and rub her furry body against him. This interrupted the man's prayer time, so he put a collar around the cat's neck and tied her to the bedpost whenever he wanted to be undisturbed while at prayer. This didn't seem to upset the cat, and it meant that the man could meditate without interruption.
Over the years, the daughter of this devout Christian had noted how much his devotional time had meant to him. When she began to establish some routines and patterns with her own family, she decided she should do as her father had done. Dutifully she, too, tied her cat to the bedpost and then proceeded to her devotions. But time moved faster in her generation and she couldn't spend as much time at prayer as did her father.
The day came when her son grew up and wanted to make sure that he preserved some of the family traditions which had meant So much to his mother and his grandfather. But the pace of life had quickened all the more and there simply was no time for such elaborate devotional proceedings. So he eliminated the time for meditation, Bible reading, and prayer. But in order to carry on the religious tradition, each day while he was dressing he tied the family cat to the bedpost.
Sometimes forms become more important than the faith they are meant to convey.
The Conclusion: The tradition that Christians are to keep is twofold. First, they must keep the teaching passed down from Jesus through the apostles and recorded in the New Testament (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 11:23; 15:3; 2 Tim 1:13-14; Jude 3;).
Second, they must maintain the standard of behaviour demanded by that teaching (1 Cor 11:1-2; Phil 4:9; 2 Thess 2:15; 3:6;).