What Jesus Did! 'Why Do…?' — Matthew 15:1-2

Sunday, July 18, 2021

ToGather: Jesus Is at Our Door

Our Savior doesn't want just to be worshiped; he also wants us to draw close and find fullness of life in him.

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Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, "Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat."
— Matthew 15:1-2 NLT

Key Thought

Isn't it interesting how some criticisms come disguised as questions?! "Why do...?" The Pharisees and teachers of the law weren't looking for truth, but looking to set a trap. In fact, most of their questions to Jesus and criticisms of Jesus are of the "Why do…?" variety. Always critical, never seeking. Always condemning, never redeeming. For them, it was all about rules. Their rules! Of course, when rules and laws predominate, whoever gets to enforce the rules gets to determine who is good and who is not. That's nice for the enforcers, because those trying to impose rules never have to get around to worrying about being godly themselves.

There is a key warning for us here, too! We must avoid the "Why do…?" accusatory heart in ourselves. We can get so preoccupied with pointing out everyone else's faults that we never get around to our own (Matthew 7:1-5). In the process, like the Pharisees and teachers of the law, we will miss the truth and the truth-tellers while trying to protect ourselves and our traditions.

Today's Prayer

Father, please remove all of my cynicism, pettiness, and callousness to your children. Use me to be redemptive and not antagonistic or accusatory. Deliver me from being hard headed and hard hearted. Through the precious name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 23:1-4
  • Matthew 22:41-46
  • 1 Peter 2:1-2


Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Sunday, July 18, 2021

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"[Jesus:] "I tell you the truth, all sin and blasphemy can be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. This is a sin with..."
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"Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."
A daily devotional about God's power for our battles.
"We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments."
A daily passage of Scripture emphasizing praise to our God.
"Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our..."


Illustration of Matthew 15:1-2 NLT — "Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

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.