Human Tradition Versus Divine Command
Mark 7:1-16
Then came together to him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.…

The experience is a universal one, that God's commandments suffer from the competition of human rules. The great precepts of God have only an unseen God behind them, but behind the human rules there is generally a class whose pride is gratified by their observance and incensed by their neglect. Accordingly, whenever small rules of outward conduct begin to flourish, the great principles of religion — faith, love, honour — fall into the background. It is so today. The Thug in India who confessed to having killed 320 people had no pangs of conscience for killing them, but was somewhat distressed on account of having killed a few of them after a hare had crossed his path or a bird whistled in a certain direction. Murder was no crime in his opinion, but the neglect of an omen from Bowany was a grave one. In Hinduism, which is ceremonial throughout, a man may be a most religious man, and yet very wicked. Many in our own country would unscrupulously commit great crimes, and yet be very careful to avoid eating flesh on Good Friday. It seems as if we only had a certain amount of power of attention in us, and, if it goes to little rules, there is none left for great principles.

(R. Glover.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

WEB: Then the Pharisees, and some of the scribes gathered together to him, having come from Jerusalem.

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