Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus. They came from Jerusalem and asked Jesus, "Why do your followers not obey the rules given to us by our great people that lived before us? Your followers don't wash their hands before they eat!"
— Matthew 15:1-2 NLT
Isn't it interesting how some criticisms come disguised as questions! "Why don't?" 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?" and "Don't!" 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, 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?" and "Don't!" heart in ourselves. We can get so pre-occupied with pointing out everyone else's faults that we never get around to our own. In the process, like the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, we will miss the truth and the truth tellers while protecting ourselves and our traditions.
Father, please remove all of my cynicism, pettiness, and callousness to your children.
Use me to be redemptive and not antagonistic. 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
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.
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.