Traditions of the Elders

(Mark 7:1-13)

The Pharisees had established a great many traditions which they taught the people to observe. It had the effect of making them appear somehow more pious or righteous than the common man. But we see that Jesus upbraided them over their traditions for they revered their traditions more than the word of God. What is more, they allowed their traditions to get in the way of, and in some cases replace the word and teachings of God.

washing-handsIn this section the Pharisees were horrified that the disciples of Jesus did not wash their hands before eating, according to the traditions of the elders. But Jesus responded asking why the Pharisees chose to reject the commandments of God for the sake of their traditions. He pointed out that one of the Ten Commandments was to honour your father and mother. But the tradition of the Pharisees said that if anything a person was to give to his parents would be given to God instead, then they permitted a person to break the law of God for the sake of their tradition. They cause a person not to do anything for their parents by instead offering all to God.

Who benefited from this tradition? Did God ask for people to ignore their duty to family, and parents in particular, so that he could be gratified? Did God ask for people to give their sustenance, wealth and excess to him rather than support their families? Absolutely not! There was certainly a law in the Old Covenant about giving a tithe of a person’s increase, but what the Pharisees were seeking was over and above the tithe required under the law.

It is the tradition of men that leads people not to, but away from God. It is following man’s tradition that causes them not to find God. Today is no different. The traditions in the church are so deeply ingrained that it must be a nightmare for anyone coming into a church to sift the truth from the traditions. The feasts of Easter and Christmas have no biblical basis. The traditions of giving Easter eggs, and hot cross buns have no basis in scripture. The tradition of not eating red meat on Good Friday has no scriptural basis. In fact there is a law in the Bible that says people should eat only those things from the rivers or the sea that have both fins and scales. (Leviticus 11:9-12) And yet we see people eating shellfish like prawns, shrimp and so on on Good Friday where they are in effect breaking one of the laws of God for the sake of a tradition.

Tithing is another tradition that has been brought into the modern church that some churches push as truth when it is not. Space does not permit me to cover all the aspects of tithing here, but I have done an extensive study on this which you can read in my eBook on Tithing Today.

There are many traditions in the modern church that do not stand up under scrutiny and comparison to the truth of the Gospel. I encourage every person to look at what is being taught in their own church and check it against the word to see if is indeed truth or a tradition that is a lie. It is incumbent upon us all to seek the full truth for it is only through a knowledge of the truth that we can stand and conquer Satan in this age, and be transformed to be able to stand before God in the next age.

(Picture sourced from Stock.xchng taken by Marcos Santos)

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2 Replies to “Traditions of the Elders”

  1. I appreciate your advice to question what is being taught whether truth or tradition by the Word of God. I do believe we should all question what we hear. We were given the Word of God and his Spirit to testify of truth. If we seek with faith and love we will find all our answers. Jesus Christ is just as much alive today as he ever was. Thank you for your writing and insight.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes it is absolutely essential that we seek the truth, and to do that we must question and not blindly accept what is said by others. We are each individually responsible for finding our own salvation in Jesus Christ. We are taught in the bible by Jesus saying, “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) The emphasis is on US to ask, seek & knock so that we will find the truth Jesus WANTS us to know. And He has laid out all of His plans for us in the scriptures & given the Holy Spirit to those who ask God for this gift for the very purpose of opening our eyes. It is up to us to use the gifts He has given & so find His will.

      God bless & thanks again for your comment.

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