I read this passage this morning:
These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
– Matthew 15:8-9 (I know, it’s actually a reference to Isaiah)
This whole passage is pretty entertaining. The Pharisees have tried to confront Jesus with why his disciples don’t wash their hands before they eat, citing a “tradition” that was not even part of the law given by Moses. So Jesus answered a question with a question, and then this scripture. You can read the whole thing here.
These two verses seem to sum up the Pharisees Disease. God is crying out for us to stop wasting our time stressing about who’s washing their hands and who’s not, and to give him our hearts and obedience. Stop majoring in the minors. I am guilty as charged.
Jesus promised an abundant life. You have to assume that abundance does not hide in the picky details of religion, but rather the joyous moments of our relationship with the Creator as we strive to be imitators of Christ.
p.s., keep washing your hands; just not for spiritual reasons.