Summary: Matthew 15:1-20 Which we will follow God or man. The Bible or Additions and Changes of men
Truth or Tradition? By Steve Keeler
"Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from
Jerusalem and said,"Why do Your disciples break the
tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their
hands when they eat bread." And He answered and
said to them, "Why do you yourselves transgress the
commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
For God said, 'honor your father and mother,' and, 'he
who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to
death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or
mother, 'Whatever I have that would help you has been
given to God,' he is not to honor his father or his
mother.' And by this you invalidated the word of God
for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did
Isaiah prophesy of you: 'this people honors Me with
their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in
vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the
precepts of men.'" After Jesus called the crowd to Him,
He said to them, 'Hear and understand. It is not what
enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what
proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.' Then
the disciples came and said to Him, 'Do You know that
the Pharisees were offended when they heard this
statement?' But He answered and said, 'Every plant
which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be
Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And
if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a
pit.' Peter said to Him, 'Explain the parable to us.'
Jesus said, 'Are you still lacking in understanding also?
Do you not understand that everything that goes into
the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?
But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from
the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart
come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications,
thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things
which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands
does not defile the man.'
Guess who popped in for a visit? It's the heads of the
local major denomination. They are heavy hitters, the
scribes and Pharisees. They have come to Jesus on a
fact finding mission, to try to validate whether they
should put their approval on Him or not.
Isn't it interesting that Jesus had more problems with
the religious people than the lost? They were always
trouble for Him, these were the same ones who
These men made religion an outward thing instead of
an inward experience. Truth was being trampled by
tradition. And it's still goes on today!
I will not be a Pastor that honors tradition over truth.
And this church will never place truth in a place where
man made do's and don'ts can override it.
Many churches today allow themselves to be bound
and gagged by tradition, and as a result they no longer
have the real impact Jesus charged us to have.
Now, I'm not saying that all tradition is wrong or bad.
It's when you are exult tradition and exclude truth that It
becomes a big problem.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 "So then, brethren, stand firm
and hold to the traditions which you were taught,
whether by word of mouth or by letter from us."
But tradition becomes a bad thing when it's allowed to
surpass truth or worse, when it contradicts truth. We
are not called to carry on traditions, but to proclaim the
The gospel message must never change, but our
methods must change, doing all we can to reach our
In verse one of our scripture we see the accusation of
Did they really come all this way to talk about washing
of hands before you eat? You have to understand
some background to get it here:
The Jewish people of the old testament had added to
the Law of God over 600 man made laws. These
became known as the traditions or ceremonial law, and
they were passed down from generation to generation,
and more and more was added thru the years.
These traditions were compiled into a book called the
Mishna which got thicker and thicker and became
impossible for the Jews to fulfill.
Some of these traditions were outrageous. In God's
Law, we are told to remember the Sabbath Day and
keep it holy.
The Mishna says on the Sabbath you could not wear
your false teeth! I wonder how many of us are wearing
false teeth here today? According to the Mishna, all
who are, they are sinning.
They also said you couldn't spit into the dirt on the 7th
day, because it would make mud, and then you had