3/7/16: Why Are We Doing That?


Jesus was constantly having run-ins with the religious leaders and other pious “church people” who questioned why He and His disciples did things the way they did. In Mark chapter seven, again these folks approached Jesus, this time because they were annoyed at the fact that the disciples didn’t follow the prescribed ceremonially hand washing before they ate.

Like always, Jesus had an answer for them—an answer that went deep to the heart of the problem. He first quotes Isaiah to authenticate His answer (the religious leaders were familiar with Isaiah), then He backs up the Scripture text with His own lesson. Jesus says:

  • “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. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’… “For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men… All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition… making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do” Mark 7:6-13 (NKJ).

We need to be very careful not to confuse tradition with commandment. And we especially need to watch it when we start teaching people that tradition is commandment. For example, as a young girl, I grew up in the tradition of wearing dresses to church. In fact, I dressed up for church; I had special “church clothes” that were only for wearing to church. Although I still like to dress up for church, I realize I don’t have to. The commandment is to go to church (see Hebrews 10:25) and God would rather have me there in regular clothes than not there because I didn’t have something fancy enough to wear. Some people wouldn’t go to church at all because of that tradition.

Living by tradition rather than by commandment nullifies and invalidates the power of the Word of God in our lives. Today, let’s make it our challenge to start scrutinizing why we do what we do. Why do we teach, expect, or demand of others the things we do? Where does it say that (fill in whatever that may be) in Scripture? If tradition has pushed out commandment, let’s make some changes.


©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

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~ by sanewriter on March 7, 2016.

3 Responses to “3/7/16: Why Are We Doing That?”

  1. Praise be to God! Your Blogs have been so “right on!” I was pleased to here from Matthew & help in his search for family history.

  2. The commandments are commands for all. What makes you think that you are exempted?


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