Matthew 15:1-9

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking Him to meet with you and speak to you.

Bible Reading

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ he is not to ‘honor his father’ with it. Thus, you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right about you when he prophesied about you: “’These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’”

– Matthew 15:1-9


In this passage of Scripture, Jesus teaches us a very important lesson concerning our relationship to Him. In this exchange with the Pharisees, He points out that their rules and traditions had taken the place of heartfelt devotion to God. As Christ works to transform us for His purposes, one of His main goals is to capture our hearts! He is more concerned with heart change than outward adherence to a list of rules. If He captures our hearts, the external changes will follow.

The Big Question

When Jesus develops people, what is He most concerned with? What is He less concerned with? Have you ever focused on external behavior knowing your heart was not right with God? Has Jesus captured your heart?

Conclude your time in prayer and silence, reflecting on what God revealed to you today.