5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, ‘Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?’ 6 He replied, ‘Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
‘“These people honour me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.”
8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.’
Here’s the challenge of following Jesus. Although what we do is important, Jesus is concerned with something far more fundamental, what’s inside us that governs how we think, feel and behave. If that is right, then how we live will be right. If that is broken, then so will our lives be. This is where we realise our reliance on Jesus for it is nigh on impossible for us to change who we are inside by ourselves. All we can do is acknowledge how we are, unlike these teachers. Thankfully, Jesus accepts us if we are honest about ourselves, and sends his Spirit to rework us from within.
Spirit, purify my heart.