“You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
‘”This people honors Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me;
in vain do they worship Me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”'” (Matt. 15:7-9 ESV)
Once again the Pharisees try to challenge Jesus and once again Jesus has to correct them. He points out that this quote from Isaiah applies to them. The Pharisees were considered some of the most righteous among the Jews for their steadfast dedication to the Law. However, there were many amendments to the Law that they had made from men’s interpretation of the Law that they preached as Law itself. To make matters worse, many of these interpretations were flawed and tried to void the original Law. Not only did the Pharisees follow this misinterpretations themselves, but they taught others to do so likewise.
Unfortunately, this practice still happens today. We allow what we believe or feel or think to cloud our interpretations of God’s Word and then justify it with sayings like “Well, surely God didn’t mean…” or “This was written so long ago, surely it doesn’t apply…”. Or we make up rules and regulations for the Church that were never meant to be binding on the body of Christ. We can be like the Pharisees, “blind leading the blind”.
If only there were someone or Someone who could interpret the Scriptures for us… But wait, we have the Holy Spirit. God sent us an Interpreter, the Holy Spirit (which also means that we have less of an excuse as the Pharisees). As long as we rely on the Spirit to teach us what God’s Word really says, we will not be lead astray. We will still make mistakes because our sinful nature will always insist on its will over the will of the Spirit, but we can always rely on Him to steer us back on track if we constantly seek Him.
“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!” (1 Chron. 16:11 ESV)