Out of the Ordinary: Tradition’s Place

Out of the Ordinary: Tradition’s Place

Matthew 15:1-9

J.I.Packer, modern Puritan scholar and evangelical theologian, wrote: “All Christians are at once beneficiaries and victims of tradition—beneficiaries, who receive nurturing truth and wisdom from God’s faithfulness in past generations; victims, who now take for granted things that need to be questioned, thus treating as divine absolutes patterns of belief and behavior that should be seen as human, provisional, and relative. We are all beneficiaries of good, wise, and sound tradition and victims of poor, unwise, and unsound traditions.”

How Can Our History Blur HIS Story?

The Weight of Tradition ~ Matthew 15:1-2

  • 1 Teachers of the Law should have a good handle on the importance of God’s word; talk about “the hedge”
  • 2 these men are concerned about their own power and status; notice they implicitly judge Jesus by the actions of his followers (this is still true today!)

The Place of Tradition ~ Matthew 15:3-9

  • 3/4 the Pharisees don’t see that their “hedge” breaks God’s command which it’s intended to protect
  • 5/6 it’s “more pious looking” to give money for others to see, than to care for your parents (which hardly anyone sees); this choice leads them to break the Law
  • 7/9 their hearts are more concerned with SELF than with God.

We need to guard against this as well; left unchecked and unexamined, we can easily turn our simple faith into a set of rules and regulations that are more concerned with keeping others OUT of “God’s Kingdom” (which isn’t actually His, but OURS with His name slapped on it).

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