Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Clothes and Buildings (Mark 7)
Jesus was attending church in a local fellowship and some of the members noticed that his students were dressed in filthy clothes, and that some of them smelled. (It is a tradition in many churches to dress up to worship and there are in some fellowships even an unspoken competition between people as to who could look the sharpest for Sunday worship.) So the members asked Jesus, "Why do your students dress in such a lowly way? It is disrespectful to God to not dress our best."
Jesus replied, "Isaiah truly spoke of you: 'This people respects me with their lips, but their desire is distant from me. Their worship of me is pointless and they hold human tradition to be doctrine." You have so many of your own rules, but you ignore the command of God.
"How often you avoid doing God's will for the sake of your traditions. The command of God is: 'Sell your possessions and give to the poor.' Yet you tell your people that they must increase their giving to build your new buildings and to increase your staff's salaries. Their wealth is dedicated to 'God's work' and thus God's people suffer. You erase God's word by your tradition, always putting your desires ahead of Gods'.