15 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” 3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’”
This passage is a great reminder of two things. 1. actions speak louder than words. 2. your words reveal your true self. Verses 8 and 9 are straight to the point – that there are plenty of fakes out there. People can easily have big words and can beef themselves up that way. But at the root, their actions show the opposite of their words. The Bible says “their hearts are far from me”. That is a tough statement to read and then question ‘am I in the same position?’
Verse 18 reminds us what needs to be in good shape – your heart. It is the root of actions, of words and choices. Looking after our heart and keeping it pure is essential. There can certainly be plenty of talk and big grand gestures, but in reality, how you respond, how you speak, what you do out of the view of others determines your character and who you are.
What kind of person am I? Do my actions reveal who I am? Do my words reveal my character? Think through this. If there are parts that you want changed, pray for help and start making the steps to see it changed.
God, I know I am not perfect but I thank you that I have your word to guide me and your Holy Spirit to lead me. Please help me to honour you with what I say, to keep my heart pure and entirely on you. Amen
Written by Sophie Botta