"Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy Father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth,and honoureth me with their lips;but their heart is far from me.But in vain they do worship me,teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?
But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be Blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.
And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."
"The "pious" and "orthodox" Jew of today has his mind filled with the Talmud, which is built up from these traditions, and it is like a veil, shrouding from his mind the true word of God. Let us take care lest we fall into a similar snare. We may thankfully avail ourselves of the teachings of God's servants, but using them rightly we shall be led back to the fountain-head, even Scripture itself. It would not be difficult to turn the teachings of the best of God's servants into a kind of Talmud. Then we should have them as a sort of smoke screen, hiding from us the pure Word of God, just as the Talmud blinds the Jewish mind to the real force of the Old Testament. This kind of thing, pushed as it was by the Pharisees to its extreme limits, stirred our Lord to a strong exposure of its evil. They were hypocrites, and He told them so plainly. They came under Isaiah's scathing denunciation, for this type of religious wickedness is always to be found with men who have hearts far from God and yet honour Him with their lips, whilst putting their own precepts and commandments in the place of His word. All such nominal worship is empty and in vain, yet it is not difficult for a true believer to get entangled in such things today."
F. B. Hole
F. B. Hole
Note: This blog post was originally published in September 19, 2017 and was updated and republished in February 8, 2018 using the KJV translation and to include reference links.