Jesus exposed the hypocritical Pharisees for elevating their own rules and traditions over the law of God. In our attempt to keep God’s law, we also are prone to develop our own rules and regulations in an effort to earn God’s favor. Alistair Begg reminds us that human merit cannot make us right with God and that justification is an act of God’s free grace.
1Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3(For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly,1 holding to the tradition of the elders, 4and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash.2 And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.3) 5And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
7in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
Copyright © 2021, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.