May 24th, 2021


In this encounter, Jesus leaves us all with something to think about. I’ll go ahead and give you his bottom line so you’ll recognize it more easily within the context of the story: ”You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions” (Mark 7:8).

1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus 2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed.

5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)—12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”


Mark 7:1–2, 5–13

Our New Covenant marching orders are: Love as Jesus loved us. Have you ever seen a religious tradition get in the way of that? Is it possible that you have religious, family, or regional traditions that get in the way of loving as Jesus loves you?