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Matthew 15:4-6

Voiding God's Law

4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.


The Jewish traditions had many "escape clauses" built into them. This allowed the self-righteous to keep up their righteous image without having to work at it. Jesus had told the Scribes and Pharisees that the traditions were not God's laws, but were the very means by which they violated God's commandments. In the passage above, He exposes one of their traditions as one of those "escape clauses."

The fifth commandment was God's instruction to all people, saying that we should honor both our father and our mother. The Greek word, "tima," was used by Jesus and means to "honor" or to "look after." It is used here with the emphasis on caring for your father and your mother.

The Jews, on the other hand, had a tradition stating that, if someone gave all that his budget could bear to the temple or synagogue as a gift, he was excused from caring for his parents. It was assumed that his parents would receive God's blessing for going without the needed support. "Whatever I would have given to you, Mom & Dad, I gave to the synagogue as a gift!" This made him free from the requirements of the law and made the rabbis very rich.

According to Jesus, this was a very serious sin. "He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death." is taken from Exodus 21:17. Jesus looked at the neglectful care of our parents as being equivalent to cursing them, a capital offense. The Pharisees stood convicted.

We have our own ways of making God's commandments of no effect. The Sabbath day is a good example. The Sabbath was blessed and sanctified by God as a remembrance of the time when He had completed the creation of the earth and rested. " Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." is God's commandment in Exodus 20:8.

God said, "Keep it holy." We have declared it a day for families to do things together. God said, "Keep it holy." We use it for football games, golf, fishing, picnicking, shopping, and travel.

God said, "Keep it holy." Few can tell you what that means. We have lost our understanding of holiness, because we have polluted the Sabbath and used it for our own pleasures under the guise that it is a family day.

Oh, if time permitted, how we could embarrass ourselves by listing the many hundreds or thousands of ways that we have devised to make God's law of none effect! Each of us should make our own list and then pray for help to correct ourselves.

Before The Throne:

Get down on your knees wherever you are right now and seek God's holiness. Pray for His righteousness to cover you. Ask Him to show you how even your ministry and other work that you do might be circumventing His law. Pray for His forgiveness.

For Further Study:

(v.4)
** God. Matt 4:10; Matt 5:17-19; Isa 8:20; Rom 3:31; ** Honour. Matt 19:19; Exod 20:12; Lev 19:3; Deut 5:16; Prov 23:22; Eph 6:1; ** He. Exod 21:17; Lev 20:9; Deut 21:18-21; Deut 27:16; Prov 20:20; Prov 30:17;

(v.5) ** ye say. Matt 23:16-18; Amos 7:15-17; Mark 7:10-13; Acts 4:19; Acts 5:29; ** It is. Lev 27:9-34; Prov 20:25; Mark 7:11-12;

(v.6)
** honour. 1Tim 5:3-4, 8, 16; ** Thus. Ps 119:126, 139; Jer 8:8; Hos 4:6; Mal 2:7-9; Mark 7:13; Rom 3:31;

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