Commandment Or Tradition

Commandment Or Tradition

Traditions and Commandments

7 Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
7  in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”
9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban” ’ (that is, given to God)— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

What Defiles a Person

14 And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” 17 And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.


The Pharisees take offense that the disciples ate with hands not washed according to their standards, claiming they were impure. The Pharisees believe that sin is associated with being unclean. As such, they regard washing as a sign of righteousness. So naturally, they chastise Jesus' followers for not going through the handwashing process before partaking in food. In response to this judgment, Jesus quotes Isaiah 29:13, which reveals how some manufactured laws can conceal an unkind heart and its intentions.

Jesus highlighted how the Pharisees had distorted one of God's most fundamental instructions by making it complex. The Lord proclaimed, "Honor your father and mother," but the Pharisees developed a practice named 'Corban,' which means 'devoted to God.' With this dictate, any funds dedicated to divine purposes cannot be utilized to sustain elderly parents. Jesus proves how it is actually them who are in error and spiritually blind (7:18).

It's The Heart

Meanwhile, this problem also confuses his disciples (7:2). Jesus' words expose the Pharisees for rejecting God's word in favor of their own commands. He then further explains that evil isn't simply a matter of what we eat or drink; instead, it originates from our hearts as human beings (7:14-23).


After setting off from Israel, Jesus ventured to the Mediterranean coast in search of rest and relaxation. Yet upon arriving at Tyre—a diverse city—he was confronted by a Gentile woman who sought his help in exorcising an evil spirit from her daughter. Despite the woman's appeal, Jesus maintains his focus; he must first feed Israel's children before giving out mere morsels to outsiders. Despite understanding what Jesus was communicating, the woman continued to try and convince him. It is indisputable that Israel must be provided for; however, wouldn't it also make sense for Gentiles, who were lower than dogs beneath the table, to receive some benefit as well? Jesus could not possibly deny her plead. She returned home to discover her daughter had been liberated from the demon.





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