GOSPEL MEDITATION # 193
Traditions and Commandments &
What Defiles a Person
- Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
- We tend to be legalists, yes even evangelicals who preach grace. It is common to the human condition. In the Judaism of Jesus’ day many sought to honor God by being observant of a myriad of rules and regulations.
- The Oral Law, on top of the 613 laws found in Scripture, 248 permitted acts, 365 prohibited acts, many of them had to do with food and personal hygiene.
- Jesus, an observant Jew, nevertheless rejected much of the Oral Law, the traditions of the elders, and thus ran afoul of religious extremists. Little has changed.
- Pride follows in the wake of doing works that are thought to be righteous. Jesus pointed out that it is not the external but the internal where the problem lies.
- What was true for some of the Jewish religious leaders is true for us today.
- It is out of the heart and mind and the will–the core of us–where sin and evil begin. And we are surrounded by it in the culture we live in.
- We are in the world, not of it, but we are all vulnerable to the forces that would destroy us.
- Legalism does not protect us from that which defiles, and the list Jesus gives is very comprehensive.
- The reality is, we are all susceptible to being defiled.
Maybe adultery and murder won’t get us, but pride,
slander, envy, or coveting may.