“And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions” (Mark 7:9 NIV)!
When Jesus was having this conversation with the Pharisees (temple leadership/church leaders) in response to their criticism of Him, He reminded them how they had changed The Word of God in order for them to control what the people did. He made sure they understood that what they had given value or importance, overriding what God had said, was not important at all, especially when it was done for profit.
More specifically, He tried to get them to understand that it is not the externals or external things we do that defile us, but those things that reside deep within that defile the body. Let’s look at it this way. If mere observance of ceremonial traditions had been enough to get us back into a right relationship with God, there would have been no need for God to come down, in the likeness of flesh, to redeem us. It is not what we do to gain the praise of men that keeps us in right relationship, but what we do that honors God by following His commands–Love Him, Love Each Other.
Let’s start some new traditions–ones that will honor God–study The Word, Share The Word, Take care of family, Provide for the poor and needy, and Love unconditionally all with whom you meet.