Jesus stated repeatedly that he did not come to destroy the Torah, but to live it to its fullest. In this section of the journey, as the level of intensity rises, Jesus comes into confrontation with hypocrites who want to hide behind religious traditions. These confrontations rip off the masks from the disciples faces too!
Background: Many of the examples in these passages has to do with interpretation of Old Testament books like Exodus and Leviticus about laws and regulations that were very much part of everyday life. Jesus do not attack the essence of the tradition, but the superficial way in which it was interpreted by many who do not understand the heart of the matter.
On the other hand, Jesus takes his disciples on an eighty kilometre Journey by foot so that he could highlight a Canaanite woman as an example of faith. . Now that was controversial! Many would say against the laws and traditions. Not so, shows Jesus!
Read Matthew 15:1-33
- Look inwards. What comes to your mind when reading this passage? How does this confront you with your relationship with the Lord and with others? Be open for the Lord to show you where you are hiding behind religious and cultural traditions – even those that look just fine at first sight
- Share this with the group It is in opening up your heart to others that the Lord may use them to help you to remove the plank or beam from your own eye.
- Where do you see people in your own community that nobody would think could become part of the Kingdom?
The picture above comes from the very well know Fiddler on the Roof where cultural and religious tradition plays a very important role.