Matthew 15: 1-9
“1Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.” 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say that whoever tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God,’ then that person need not honor the father. 6 So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said:
8 ‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’”
Lately we have all been reminded,several times a day, to wash our hands. According to health officials, this simple thing is very important in keeping us healthy. But we must also remember to keep our soul healthy.
Jesus’ disciples were guilty of not ritually cleansing their hands before they ate. On the other hand, the Pharisees were guilty of having dirty hearts. Jesus accused them of putting the rituals of religion over the things of the spirit (such as mercy, kindness and grace).
Let us all do those things that are necessary to stay healthy, like washing our hands. But let’s also do those things that keep us strong spiritually