I read this today:
Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
“‘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.’”
(Matthew 15:1-9 ESV)
I think it’s an interesting passage. It’s a good reminder too. We like to work our way around God’s laws. Sometimes we even do it unintentionally, because we have an idea about how we think something should be. Sometimes we just have personal preferences that we decide to follow because of our own egos. Sometimes we refuse to let God lead because we find it uncomfortable or it doesn’t line up with our plans or ideas. Sometimes we do things our own way because it better follows our politics or personal philosophies, or we just think things are somehow better if we do them our way. I think usually we don’t elevate these to the point of “doctrine” as the Pharisees are doing here, but we do that sometimes too.
There are passages and teachings in the Bible that I don’t understand. There are even some that I’m inclined to disagree with. It is important for me to check myself at this point and remember that I’m not God and therefore am not allowed to set the rules. If I was God, I probably would have done a few things differently. Oddly enough, I only think that because I’m not perfect like God, so I’m not wise enough to see that he did things in a perfect way. You and I aren’t the measure of what is right and good and just. That is up to God. If we disagree with him, then we are the ones who need to change, not him.