Empty Lips

Matthew Bible Background

Old Testament: Mark 7.6–8

To read the Bible in a year, read Mark 7.1–13 on February 27, In the year of our Lord Christ 2020

By Don Ruhl

The Pharisees and scribes criticized the disciples of Jesus for not keeping the tradition of the elders by failing to wash their hands before eating bread, to which Jesus gave this stinging rebuke:

He answered and 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.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”

– Mark 7.6–8

They did not realize that they had elevated the commandments of men over the commandments of God. If they did not realize what they had done, is it possible that we also may have violated His will without realizing it?

Questions:

  • With only what did they honor the Lord?
  • Who made this prophecy of them?

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