I Am Really Sorry!
Daily Reading and Devotional from the Gospels
1 Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. 2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. 3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
I am sorry. I am really sorry. If you were hurt by my preaching things that were not in the Bible then I want you to know how grieved I am over my past ways. I apologize for all the times I tried to prove that I had standards just for perception’s sake. I said things I didn’t really believe, only because I was told, “that’s what good preachers say”. In retrospect, I see that I majored on minors. There were many sermons against sins the Bible doesn’t address and many messages lacked the primary theme of the Bible, the gospel of Jesus Christ. The worse part of my sin, I said things with an unloving spirit. I had zeal without knowledge and truth without love.
Why do I feel the need to apologize today?
I was struck by the very first word of our reading this morning, “then”. In yesterday’s reading we saw that the Lord and his disciples came to a place where the people wanted Jesus to move in a great way and he didn’t disappoint. They brought sick to Jesus in beds, they placed paralyzed people beside the path of our Lord so they would be sure to make contact as he passed. People were thinking of others, caring for the helpless with faith that Jesus could make a difference in their lives. The stories of how Jesus had done great things for others had helped other folk hope in him too. They begged to touch his garment by faith and that faith was rewarded. “THEN”, in the midst of all of this amazing activity a group of religious people found something to criticize. Instead of rejoicing over the good news, they griped. What was their complaint? Hand washing! Not the kind of hand washing that we do for mere sanitation’s sake but ceremonial cleansing. The religious practice of the day was to wash before meals and then again between each course. The Bible had not commanded the practice, it was what the traditions of the elders dictated. In the midst of healing and happiness, “THEN” they came complaining about hand washing. “Why didn’t the disciples of Jesus wash their hands like them?” I suspect that when the company is great you don’t focus on all the distractions.
Jesus scorched them with his words. He did something they didn’t do in defense of their opinions, he quoted Scripture as he explained their worship was vain and heartless. He rebuked them for teaching the traditions of men and making the Bible of no effect. You see, if you major on minor things, major things will always be neglected. Instead of using a meal to focus on the Lord in front of them they focused on finger nails.
So, I am sorry. I am sorry for being like these men in today’s reading. I am sorry for focusing on silly traditions of men and not Scripture. I am sorry for neglecting the Gospel of Jesus. I am sorry for being a hypocrite. Make no mistake, If the Bible was clear on the matter, I am not apologizing. If you have a problem with the Bible take that up with it’s author. When it comes to his Words, I am in sales, policy concerns should be directed to management. I apologize for my deviation from his policy. I am sorry for majoring on minors and minoring on majors. I am really sorry!