The Traditions Of Old That Became Only Traditions: Mark 7

1282 words - 6 pages

In Jesus' day the Pharisees and scribes held the traditions of men, also known as the interpretation of the law, in very high regard. Some of these many traditions included washing of hands, pots, and cups. These interpretations of the law were probably meant for good. This can be seen in this aspect of washing. Moses actually did advocate it. When it was done around his time though, there was a specific reason why they did it. One of these reason was because someone had gotten physically dirty and another was “in connection with moral consecration which was purposed.”1 For examples they washed a leper when he was healed and they washed a priest when he was getting consecrated. The problem is that as the years went by people did interpretations of the these interpretations and so on. It went so far as to become the main forces. In fact they often held these above what the scripture had to say. Someone once said that “the words of the scribes are lovely beyond the words of the law: for the words of the law are weighty and light, but the words of the scribes are all weighty.”2 Also, “Rabba said, How foolish are most men! They observe the precepts of the Divine law, and neglect the statues of the rabbins!”3 Wow, how much they really did hold the traditions on a pedestal!
In Mark chapter 74 we find Jesus' confronting these men about their traditions. First we see that this subject came up because the Pharisees and scribes were having issues with the disciples who did not wash their hands before eating. According to the traditions one must wash his hands before consumption. They felt that those who did not wash their hand were equal to the heathen. Jesus tried to show these men that God is concerned about our heart. He wanted them to know that “man's real problem is not dirty hands but a polluted heart, which no amount of washing can clean.”5 We must have the blood of Jesus applied in order for us to be clean (for them it would have been sacrifices). When I think about this I conclude that we must also continue in obedience to the Divine law of God in order to stay clean. I am sure that the Pharisees did sacrifices, but still they were not clean.
Jesus responded to this religious piety by pointing out how they broke the law themselves. As an example of this problem with their traditions coming ahead of God's law, Jesus talked about their use of the word “Corban”6. Peloubet says that Corban is “an offering to God of any sort, bloody or bloodless, but particularly in fulfillment of a vow.”7 The Pharisees were allowing the people to make a vow to God that forbade one to use something or to give it to anyone else. This thing is what they called “Corban” or a gift. By making this vow a person could make it so that he or she did not have to fulfill his or her obligation to help someone or did not have to receive help from someone else. If someone did not feel like helping or it was inconvenient for them all they had to do was to claim that thing...

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