Hand Washing Ceremony
Mark 7:5 NLT
So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”
This podcast is a repost, originally published on January 18, 2017.
So many times the one thing that holds us back from understanding and experience in its fullness of what God wants us to do is our experiences of yesterday, the traditions that we have been handed down from the people around us, the circumstances which becomes a big stumbling block in our own life.
In Mark 7:5, the Pharisees and the teachers of religious law questioned Jesus about His disciples on washing of the hands ceremony before eating.
There were sure some reasons as to why there was this washing of hands tradition, may be because there could be bacterias that could affect your body which was a good principle to follow. We still do this here in India since we eat food with our hands. But the Pharisees had made this a tradition, a law and a mandatory thing which restricted people in ending up in not eating food. But Jesus was upset and responded to them in a way saying that they were fighting God’s plan for their life.
Jesus also explained to them saying that most of the traditions are made on external consequences – on how a person looks on the outside etc.
There are churches that believe wearing white shirt on Sunday morning to church is the most righteous thing to do, churches that believe that not wearing ornaments is a mark of your devotion to God and a attending church without shaving is a bad thing.
Is it a good principle to shave before going to church? There is no connection between shaving and your walk with God, but dont make that as a restriction that if you do not shave you will not receive from God, or if you do not wear white then you are not holy enough to take communion, or if you are not giving up on ornaments, you are not pure and devoted enough to God.
These are not what God is looking at. If there are any good traditions to follow then it is the tradition of the heart. How do you maintain your heart, how do you keep your heart pure and holy and running after God all the days of your life, that is what matters to the Lord.
What is your heart really after, is what Jesus is after. Jesus was upset on the Pharisees and sadducees because they kept their traditions above God, where once they even condemned Jesus for healing a man on sabbath. For them a man should not work on a sabbath was more important that for a man who was waiting for 38 long years for his deliverance.
It is unimaginable for God to see you bound to your traditions than being free and living your life for His glory.
If there is a tradition that will make you look down on people whether they might be people not wearing ornaments, a tradition that is causing you to disrespect people, a tradition that is making you not value, love or nurture people enough then that is a bad tradition to follow and you need to surrender it at the feet of Jesus.
Have a blessed day ahead!
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