By Arla, Oct 15 2020 01:00AM
The Pharisees taught that the fifth commandment could be set aside if children devoted their property to the temple. It was a tradition called "Corban" and considered more sacred than their duty to take care of aging parents.
A son could pronounce "Corban"--meaning devoted to God--over his property, and this would allow him to use it during his lifetime, and turn it over to the temple upon his death. This pretense of devotion to God released him from providing for his parents. And it padded the pockets of the priests.
"You hypocrites!" says Jesus, "Well did Isaiah describe you, saying, 'This people draws near Me with their mouths, and honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. In vain they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commands of men.'"
Jesus answers their question, ("Why don't your disciples wash...) by revealing their true spirit in asking. His words free the people from the load of tradition heaped on them, especially those who really want to serve God-- hearts open to him.
The disciples see the Pharisees' angry looks and words, and later ask Jesus if he had noticed. It bothers them that he doesn't make nice with them.
"Leave them." He says, "They are blind guides."
Knowing their confusion, Jesus continues teaching, "Defilement doesn't come from outside us but from inside"--it's our evil thoughts, words, and actions that change us, creating negative thought and behavior patterns. These create false beliefs leading to a false self--defiling us.
In other words, Jesus says, "You've got religion backwards! Refusing to observe man-made rules may help you find God!"
Matthew 15:5-20, Mark 7:6-23