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Matthew 14:34-15:9, Teachings of Jesus

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.’
— Matthew 15:1,2

NL Daily Devotion for Wednesday, March 13, 2019

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff


What’s the matter, Jesus? Don’t you know that washing your hands kills germs?!

Yeah. I know. This text is much less about hygiene than it is that Jesus made a point with the hypocrites who told him that he was breaking tradition.

Well, some traditions need to die. Sometimes, change is needed.

The older I get, the more I begin to notice that I don’t like change. Change is hard! But it is our God who calls us to fearlessly venture into places not explored if the goals for the change match the rationale behind the change itself.

Does the Church (capital ‘C’) do a very good job at communicating and living out the gospel today? In some ways, yes. But in many other ways, no! It really doesn’t! (And I state this as a former pastor in the ELCA).

The only question we need to ask ourselves from reading this text is what “hand washing” do we do that isn’t serving its original purpose anymore. Well, what are they? What changes do we need to make?

How best to break tradition, but keep the ones that still serve us and the next generation?

I’m sure that will produce many arguments!

What are your thoughts? What changes would you like to see made?