What Jesus Did! 'Twisting the Most Basic Truths' — Mark 7:9-13

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Then Jesus said to them: "You think you are smart! You ignore the commands of God so that you can follow your own teachings! Moses said, 'You must honor (respect) your father and mother.' Then Moses also said, 'Any person that says bad things to his father or mother must be killed.' But you teach that a person can say to his father or mother, 'I have something I could use to help you. But I will not use it to help you. I will give it to God.' You are telling that person that he does not have to do anything for his father or mother. So you are teaching that it is not important to do what God said. You think that it is more important to follow those rules you teach people. And you do many things like that."
— Mark 7:9-13 NLT
Illustration of Mark 7:9-13 NLT — "You think you are smart!"

Key Thought

Jesus cites an example of the teachers' and Pharisees' hypocrisy of the law in these verses. In this case, the hypocrisy was finding a legalistic rationale to withhold support from parents, thus disobeying one of the Ten Commandments. The brazenness of such rationalization of one of the ten bedrock truths of their existence just proves how deeply the practice of this kind of hypocrisy can become. Legalistic hypocrisy abounds in all sorts of religious groups and religious experience. Let's obey, not rationalize. Let's respond graciously to God's grace and not seek to work our way out of our responsibilities to each other and to him.

Today's Prayer

O God, thank you for such clear examples of legalistic hypocrisy. I hate that Jesus had to see this in his day, but it helps me see what I need to avoid and what your heart hates. Purify my heart and keep a right attitude in me through your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 51:2, 7
  • Zephaniah 3:9-13
  • James 4:8


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.