“9 And Jesus continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[c] your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[d] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[e] 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 7.9-13
Nullifying the Word of God. This is what the Pharisees were doing. They were making up the rules as they went. As Jesus said, they were “setting aside the commands of God in order to observe” their own traditions. The Pharisees and religious leaders claimed holiness but ignored God in the process.
How do we get to a point in our lives where we ignore God for the rules and things of God? How can we love the church but not the One for whom the church was built? Its like me loving the idea of marriage without loving my wife. It makes no sense.
Following God and his commands is never easy but what Jesus was emphasizing his whole ministry was love for God, for others and for yourselves. He aren’t called to ignore the laws of the Lord but to seek to fulfill them through love. We will certainly fail but lets fail on the side of a having a love and heart for God. The Pharisees, in contrast, said they loved God but they really just loved their own traditions and following the religious order while ignoring the person of God. Again, it’s like loving the liturgy of worship and forgetting who that liturgy is pointing us to in the first place.
Life with God is not easy but it must begin with a personal relationship and devotion to the One who loved us, called us and saved us. We have been called to give our lives to the Lord and once we do, we are filled with his Holy Spirit. We pray, “Come Lord Jesus, fill us with your Holy Spirit and love! I commit my life to you, I give you my life and my heart.” Once we begin by encountering Christ we then move into a lifelong service and relationship with God. Will we always get it right? Of course not. But we will walk in a way that leads to life eternal. We will walk in intimacy with God and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Let’s commit our selves to the Person of Jesus. This is the first, best and only way of holiness. To lean in to the love of God and to receive his grace fully.
“O Lord God, I love you. I praise your name. I adore you in the sanctuary, I revere you in the house of the Lord. Come now, Holy Spirit, and help me love you more. Help me find my resting place in you. Pour out your Spirit upon your people and make your way known to all. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen