Tuesday 25 November, 2014
GOD AND TRADITION
Jesus replied: ‘And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?’(vs 3)
John Wesley called tradition one of the four pillars of Christian faith. It is one of the four – not the only one or even the main one. Traditions show us how people before us have interpreted and applied God’s word in their daily life. And traditions clearly carry on the historical and cultural values of a given community. However, as Pharisees approach Jesus with the question about honouring tradition, he immediately points to the ultimate authority of God’s word. It is all about priorities. However good and honourable our human traditions are, they should never contradict the word of God.
In today’s lesson, Jesus is asking a hard question. It sounds almost unbelievable: how can it be that the very essence of the religion, the command of God, somehow contradicts the religious tradition? It also leads to the deeper issue of seeing (or not seeing) the connection between the actual meaning of God’s word and the practical rules and regulations about religious community life.
Jesus is reminding us also today of the importance of harmony between the practices of our tradition, and the faith in our heart based on God’s revelation. Are we really practising what we believe? Let the living word of God speak to us anew today!
Prayer † Lord Jesus, teach us to understand the word of God in today’s world. Lead us more deeply into it, and help us to find the guidance from this word in our daily life. Amen.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is a fellowship of 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. WARC has a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.