November 23, 2022 – Wednesday
Widows/Parents on My Mind
Mark 7:38-40 NIV
9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’
11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)—
12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother.
13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Jesus preceded these comments first quoting Isaiah 29:13, 6 “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ And then stating, 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”
Jesus then provided an especially egregious example of the Pharisees doing exactly that, setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! What command was set aside? Honor your father and mother. And He followed that with the law, Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.
This was His preface for condemning the Pharisees for providing adult children a way out of providing for their parents or parent in their old age. They could tell their aged parent or parents that what had been set aside to help them was no longer available as it was now set aside as a gift for God. They did this to get out of their God ordained obligation to honor their parents and the Pharisees used it to enrich themselves. The Pulpit Commentary puts it this way, Now, this the scribes and Pharisees did for their own covetous ends. For most of them were priests, who received offerings made to God as his ministers, and then converted them to their own uses. In this they greatly erred; because the obligation of piety by which children are bound to support their parents when they need it, is a part of the law of nature, to which every vow, every oblation, ought to yield. Thus, if any one had devoted his goods to God, and his father or his mother became needy, those goods ought to be given to his parents and not to the temple.
The parent often bought into this as well where the son, by crying “Corban” to his needy parents, shut their mouths, by opposing to them a scruple of conscience, and suggesting to them a superstitious fear. It was as much as to say, “That which you ask of me is a sacred thing which I have devoted to God. Beware, therefore, lest you, by asking this of me, commit sacrilege by converting it to your own uses (Pulpit Commentary). Imagine parents willing to slowly starve to death rather than break a tradition of the Pharisees. This is clearly contrary to what God desires.
Bottom Line: Always choose God’s Law over traditions that contradict His laws.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to always discern between Your Ways and the traditions of man. . – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton