So here is what I read in my New Living Translation:
"Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, 2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? 4 For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[a] and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.[c] And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
8 ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God."
In my study notes about these verses, it talks about century long traditions being put in such high importance, even as important as the Bible itself. "Certain religious traditions can add richness and meaning to life. But we can't assume that just because our own traditions have been practiced for years, that they should be elevated to a such a sacred standing. God's principles don't change and his law doesn't need any additions. Traditions should really help us to understand God's laws better, not become laws themselves." In so many churches today, there is often the discussion about hymns versus choruses or should a pastor stay in his office 40 hours of the week and visit the people of the church the rest of his waking hours, or should jeans or dresses be worn in church, does how we do church always have to be the same or changed up a bit, long hair or short hair, tatoos and earrings or none, should we work on Sundays and what actions describe work on a Sunday....and the list goes on and on of things we could constantly be disputing over.
How much time can be spent on talking over these things time and again. Yikes, we can be caught up in such a dither on all these things. Where's the balance and what is right and wrong when it comes to them all. Those are the questions that often mull about in my mind and I don't always find answers for them either. :) It can often be a daily/weekly thing at times to peacefully come to a decision about all of these and in each individual circumstance.
The 2nd thing mulling about in my brain this morning is what Jesus says about parents, honoring your needy parents and not putting your giving to the church in front of taking care of your parents. Many of us have aging parents and I've often heard it said, where's the balance between looking after aging parents, taking care of your own marriage and teaching/raising your own kids, giving to others...and finding time for yourself, your work and your own devotion time. Whooh! For myself, I find the balance is difficult at times. Now in my study notes again, it says that the trouble in those times back then was that "anytime someone made a certain (Corban) vow in the temple, that their money would go to God's Temple rather than going to support their needy parents and thus giving the religious leaders an acceptable excuse to neglect taking responsibility for looking after their parents. So often they were completely disregarding God's command to care for their needy parents." I must admit, I am in that boat sometimes. There's so many wonderful organizations and things that are needing money and support, and all the good things that churches are doing need help too. But again where's the balance. I have a mother who needs me VERY often...where's the balance. That is a difficult thing for me to discern too often and I will admit very openly to you that I have a huge guilt complex. Guilt that I can never DO enough. I need 5 of me some days/weeks. :) And of course I always want to justify everything I do. I think for the most part we all do. Whether we want to justify giving to the church or giving to other charities, or justifying eating certain foods, or justifying our actions when we want to take justice into our own hands rather than allowing God to work things through, or justifying what "work" means on a Sunday, or justifying what is tradition or what is our own personal preference, or justifying the time we spend on our work/play or on our TV's/ computers/games rather than taking time to build relationships with others and going out of our comfort zones and being stretched by God. Yikes, we can try to justify every action we make.
So ya! :) I guess this post is more about mulling my thoughts around in the open and for the most part leaving them unanswered. It is a daily thing to process them, it really is. I am just so thankful that I DON'T have to have all the answers and that God is such an incredible God of Grace and Mercy and He loves me SO! I don't have to have everything figured out all the time! And there are just some things that I will never figure out or have an easy answer to. The important part is, is to just remain in the Word, The Bible, and to give your questions to God cause He IS the only One who really does have all the answers. The Word of God really does have ALL the answers to life and I know that I can't just give up reading it because it leaves me questioning sometimes. Just gotta keep pressing on in life and pressing into the presence of God to receive peace, wisdom, understanding and discernment.
Was I an encouragement to anyone? Does anyone else not have all the answers? Does anyone else have these things mull over in their minds from time to time? :) I sure hope so. Cause I really do know that I'm not the only one. heehee