Voiding God’s Word by Our Traditions

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Jesus confronts hypocrisy
Image credit: LUMO Project

In today’s Bible reading*, Jesus confronts the Jewish leaders on their hypocrisy. He says that they have nullified God’s commands with their traditions. How did they do that?

The Jewish leaders in Jesus’ day made a religion out of God’s commands. They wanted to make themselves out to be so religious, they completely missed the point of the commands that God gave. By the time Jesus came along, the religious leaders had the Law, the commentary on the Law, and the commentary on the commentary on the Law. What they practiced was so far and away from how God designed things, they didn’t even need God for their religion to work, and for them to look really good doing it. And there’s the problem.


I once heard that Jesus could return and rapture His children and most of the church’s activities would continue to operate with no recognizable differences. That’s a scary thought! If that’s true, how much of the ministry of the church is actually the work of the Holy Spirit? And how much can be completely explained by the work of people?

One might respond, “Well, not in my church! Everything we do is empowered by the work of the Holy Spirit.” Let me be honest. There’s never been a perfect church. Yours isn’t either. Every Believer in every church has areas where we can grow. There’s always room for improvement and adjustment. I once heard that if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”

The brief pause for the Coronavirus Pandemic was an opportunity to do things differently in the future. Perhaps what we’ve always done and the ways we’ve always done them are nothing more than traditions and not actually fulfilling the commands of God.

God never called anyone to merely do activities. People are only called into relationships with Him. And all of the activities are simply an overflow of that relationship.

So what are some things that you are doing
instead of developing your relationship with God?

* Today we are reading Matthew 15.

This devotional was originally published on April 24, 2020.

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