Rituals or God’s Word…Which will it be?

questions-jesus-ask (1)Can you imagine hiding behind a ritual and not caring for someone? Especially your parents? Or holding to a tradition or practice to the point that it contradicts the true intent of Scripture and the heart of God?
Unimaginable and yet this is exactly the situation in this week’s Sunday Morning Bible Study that we are focusing on this week. Jesus was confronted by the Pharisees about his disciples not ceremoniously washing their hands. In fact what the religious leaders of that time were actually doing was questioning who Jesus was and what His intent was.
Jesus’ response to his accusers though brought to light the bigger picture. Instead of observing a religious practice, Jesus asked the Pharisees to look into the heart of the matter. He questioned their practice of protecting their wealth and lack of concern for others and most specifically, their own parents. In other words, Jesus asks them, and us today, to examine our motives and intentions in light of God’s Word.
Jesus uses the word “hypocrite” in speaking to the Pharisees. Noteworthy is that He is the only one in Scripture who is worthy enough to call another out! In fact, we all have exhibited hypocritical behavior and disappointed or hurt others. (“For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.” Romans 3:23) We must be careful that our occasional actions don’t become a pattern of behavior, like these religious leaders, and our opinions, beliefs, and practices supersede the Word of God.
Things to Ponder:
Are there areas in your life not consistent with Biblical Teachings?
Are you willing to examine your practices asking Jesus to help you to be pure in motive and actions?
How can we keep our motives and actions pure?
Is my behavior an overflow of the Spirit or something else?
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