Listen to today’s devo!

The Pharisees . . . asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” (Mark 7:5)

Like many families, we have our share of traditions. Some have been passed on through the generations. Others have been set aside or broken. Once, my brother and I spent the night at our grandparents’ home. Tradition dictated that Grandma Babb would make a huge breakfast for us, but that particular morning she offered us Pepsi to drink! I chose to stick with the traditional milk, but my brother jumped at the chance to start his day with bacon, eggs, and Pepsi. Grandma broke tradition, and our mother was none too happy.

According to Mark, some religious leaders travelled from Jerusalem for a little fact-finding mission. Arriving at the place Jesus was, they were horrified to see the elders’ traditions—like ceremonial washing—being ignored by some of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus quickly turned the tables and pointed out how the man-made traditions had taken the place of God’s commandments in the life of the religious leaders.

If we are honest, we can see ourselves in the Pharisees. What traditions and ceremonies have we elevated above the teachings of Jesus? How do we respond when others ignore traditions that are important to us? Traditions can often overshadow weightier matters of faith. But perhaps we honor the traditions best when we focus on the teachings of Jesus most.

Choose one Scripture you want to make a tradition in your life.

Cheryl McHenry has been a Wesleyan minister’s wife for over twenty years in South Dakota and Wyoming. She currently resides in Indiana and enjoys walking with her husband.

© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.