Jesus spends special time with religious elites of His day. He is direct always.
- Are we frauds?
- It is a question to ask ourselves.
- In this situation, it was a statement not a question.
And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites [religious frauds], as it is written, This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Mark 7:6–8). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The Pharisees, along with some religion scholars who had come from Jerusalem, gathered around him. They noticed that some of his disciples weren’t being careful with ritual washings before meals.
Seriously, this is all they had to think about. The Pharisees — Jews in general, during that time — would never eat a meal without going through the motions of a ritual hand-washing, with an especially vigorous scrubbing if they had just come from the market (to say nothing of the scouring they’d give jugs and pots and pans).
Of course, we have our religious ceremonies now. We pray before meals, even when we eat out. We go to church. We tell people we will pray for them when they are sick or someone in their family dies.
So, on this occasion, the religion scholars asked, “Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?”
Jesus has questions for us. Are we more concerned with saying the right thing than doing what God wants right at that minute? Is our heart not in it? Do we just pretend to worship God? Do we use Jesus? Do we ditch God’s commands? Do we only care about the latest religious trend or fad?
Jesus looks us in the eye and asks us these questions. He isn’t cruel. He just confronts us. God has a goal in mind for us. He wants us to love Him and worship Him.
May our love for God and what He wants in our life rule every day. May we fulfill His goal for our life. May we do what He wants.