RE Verse reading–Mark 7:1-23 (day four)
The problem with the Pharisees was not that they participated in elaborate rituals.  The problem was that they looked with contempt on those who did not.  Many of their practices had developed over the centuries to discipline mind and body toward greater understanding of and faithfulness to the Law of Moses.  The Bible does not forbid the development of such practices; Paul himself spoke of disciplining his body so as not to become “disqualified for the prize.”  But the Pharisees forgot that disciplines and traditions serve not as laurels for the strong, but as braces for the weak—people who need assistance to train themselves toward obedience.  By that reasoning, the Pharisees could have used more ritual, not less. Jesus’ disciples were in the physical presence of one who was himself serving as a brace for them as they learned obedience, so they had no need for these other methods at this time.  The Pharisees ignored that, to their great peril.

Author: Bryan Richardson

Bryan Richardson is the Associate Pastor for Counseling and Pastoral Ministries at FBCSA.

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