by | Feb 10, 2024 | Prophetic | 0 comments

There are times when we speak the truth that what we say will be offensive because it violates long-held religious traditions. If our goal is to use truth to be offensive for offensive’s sake, the truth we speak will not have its intended purpose. It will make us just another ornery religious person who does not understand the heart of God.

As the ministry of Jesus gained popularity, a group of Pharisees came to Him with a question. They asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old traditions?” (Matthew 15: 2). Jesus answered, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?” (vs. 3). The Lord quoted from the prophet Isaiah to describe His questioners, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God” (vs. 8-9).

When Jesus finished addressing the Pharisees, the disciples confronted Jesus, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?” (vs. 12). Jesus responded to their question with this answer, “Ignore them” (vs. 13). The Lord went on to describe the Pharisees as blind guides.  They had been defiled by traditions not aligned with the heart of God. They allowed themselves to become corrupted by those traditions. Referring to those points of corruption, Jesus said, “These are what defiles you” (vs. 29).

There is nothing wrong with religious traditions if those who hold them are willing to challenge their validity when directed by the Lord. Jesus modeled how a follower of Christ is to live who is being questioned by their lack of honor for the kind of traditions that hold people in a place of bondage and do not represent the heart of God. In a post-Christian world, that is important to consider.

We are living in this world to represent Jesus and the truth of Scripture, not our traditions. Our traditions need to be occasionally examined for their content and purpose. If not, they will create religious prisons of fear where our first response upon hearing a freeing truth will be rejected and we will continue to live in that prison thinking we are free.


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