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Mark 7:1-5 (NET)

Now the Pharisees and some of the experts in the law who came from Jerusalem gathered around him. And they saw that some of Jesus’ disciples ate their bread with unclean hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing, holding fast to the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. They hold fast to many other traditions: the washing of cups, pots, kettles, and dining couches.) The Pharisees and the experts in the law asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with unwashed hands?”

Matthew 15: 1-9 (NET)

Then Pharisees and experts in the law came from Jerusalem to Jesus and said, “Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don’t wash their hands when they eat.” He answered them, “And why do you disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death.’   But you say, ‘If someone tells his father or mother, “Whatever help you would have received from me is given to God [Corban – Mark 7:11],” he does not need to honor his father.’ You have nullified the word of God on account of your tradition. Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said,
 ‘This people honors me with their lips,
 but their heart is far from me,
 and they worship me in vain,
 teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

As you read this passage, what do you think Jesus’ tone of voice sounded like? What do you think was the intent behind His words? There are a variety of attitudes from which Jesus could have spoken. He could have spoken in a defiant, you’re-not-the-boss-of-Me sorta way. “Who do you think you are, telling Me of all people how to live My life?” If this was His attitude, it certainly doesn’t fit with other places in Scripture, where Jesus told the crowds to obey the Pharisees, because they were set as God’s authority over them. (Mat 23:1-3). He could have been responding in an arrogant, I-know-more-than-you attitude. After all, even at 12 years old, Jesus was “wow-ing” the teachers in Jerusalem with His understanding of Scripture. (Luke 2:42; Luke 2:46-47). It’s also possible that He was thinking something like, “Don’t you dare judge Me! You think I’m doing wrong – well look at you!” When I’ve read this before, I’ve always pictured Jesus raising His voice, almost yelling at the Pharisees. I envision Him pointing an accusatory finger in their faces, and screaming, “Hypocrites!”

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