Matthew 15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
The world is not short on teachings. Men have commandments. Some of these are decent and harmless, while others are dangerous. The problem comes when men elevate their doctrines or teachings to the level of God’s word. This is exactly what the religious leaders did during the Lord’s earthly ministry. They elevated their own writings, thoughts, and opinions to the level of the word of God until they would eventually give more reverence to their commandments than to the scripture. This is the propagation of false doctrine. Even now, there are multitudes of people propagating the commandments of men as though they are the words of God.
- (For children): Read Mark 7:1-9. The Pharisees found fault with Jesus’ disciples because they did not wash their hands. This washing was not meant to eliminate germs, but an action performed with no real importance other than following the precepts of man. God always prefers that we first be clean within our hearts.
- (For everyone): Why is it so important for us to check the words of men against the words of God? When should we reject the words of men? When should we reject the words of God?
- What is the worst thing that could happen to someone who accepts the commandments of men rather than the words of God? How should this thought encourage us to stand for truth?
- Ask the Lord to help you keep the Bible as your authority.
- Ask God to help you discern right from wrong.