Their heart is far from me ...

And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

I think that there has always been a tension between following tradition and following God because many traditions have their origins in the ways that people followed God. When I look at the church today, and many of the things that we hold as sacred, I wonder about fleshly traditions. Sometimes traditions are fairly recognizable but sometimes they are not. Such is the case here where Jesus confronts the religious leaders with their hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is at the core of the issue because of the way that man made traditions can be followed with the flesh. It is so easy to outwardly follow the rules and keep your heart in check never fully committing it to follow the Lord. But God is not interested in our religious gymnastics. He does not want sacred performances. He wants us! He desires that we seek him and trust him with all of our heart. It has always been God's way. He wants our heart.

Teach me Lord not to lean on my traditions but to follow you with my heart.

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