How do you feel about people who say one thing but do something different? Do you like to be with people who say they like you to your face, but find every excuse to not spend time with you? How long would it be before you gave up on them?
We have all experienced this at point in our lives. There has been at least one person who has put on the happy face around us, told us how much they like us or agree with us, but we hear of them saying something different when they are not with us. We might call them two-faced.
Jesus is talking about that same thing in today’s passage. He references a prophecy from Isaiah that is more than five-hundred-years old. This problem has existed for a very long time. There has been people who will say one thing, but their actions say something different for centuries. God does not like this type of behavior any more than we like it when people do to us. They are rightly called hypocrites—a term for a Roman actor who wore a mask on stage.
Notice that last line. Isaiah prophecies and Jesus speaks of putting human rules ahead of God’s commandments. This is not the only time Jesus speaks of people putting rules or traditions above God. He repeatedly chastises the Pharisees for doing this. God gave us commands we are to adhere to. He wants his commands to be obeyed above all others.
Lest we think this becomes restrictive or constraining, man’s rules are far more restrictive than God’s. Remember this, Jesus boiled all the law and prophets down to two commands—love god and love your neighbor. When we abide by these two commands in every word and deed, we please God. Though these are a little restricting, they are not nearly as restricting as the books of man’s rules and traditions. Perhaps that is why Jesus tells us we are truly free when we come to Him.
I pray we all commit to worshiping God. I pray we choose to obey God’s commands over man’s rules and traditions. I pray each one of us accept freedom in Christ and give up lip-service. Worship God. Love God. Honor God. Give your heart to God. Be free in Christ. Live free. Live with love in your heart.
Matthew 15:7-9 “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’”