DCLM Search The Scripture 11 September 2022 (Youth)

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DCLM Search The Scripture 11 September 2022 (Youth) | Lesson 36 | Christ Exalts God’s Commandment Over Traditions

DCLM Search The Scripture 11 September 2022 (Youth)

Deeper Life Search The Scripture 11th September 2022

YOUTH STS LESSON 36 – CHRIST EXALTS GOD’S COMMANDMENT OVER TRADITIONS

TEXT: Matthew 15:1-39

MEMORY VERSE: “But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?” (Matthew 15:3).

DCLM Search The Scripture 11 September 2022 (Youth) MESSAGE

In this study, the hypocritical Scribes and Pharisees came to accuse Jesus whose disciples were seen eating with unwashed hands. They were criticised for not obeying the Jewish ceremonial practice of washing of hands as taught by the Pharisees. Christ however, used the opportunity to teach and counsel the Pharisees and the Scribes that they should not violate the commandment of God with their unscriptural traditions. Christian youths should learn from Christ’s attitude by turning criticism to opportunity.

Question 1: What should be the attitude of Christian youths towards criticism from the unbelievers?

Christian youths must not take criticism as a personal offence. They should love and pray for the people who criticise them (Matthew 5:44). They should not fight back or quarrel with them, but develop a right attitude. They should shun negative tendencies because of heaven. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9)

SINISTER CONDEMNATION BY THE CRITICS (Matthew 15:1,2; Ezra 7:6; Revelation 22: 18; Galatians 4:9; Colossians 2:20-23)

Throughout the earthly ministry of Christ, the Scribes and the Pharisees made themselves perpetual and constant opposers and critics of everything that Christ did or stood for. In this text, the Scribes and the Pharisees had come to condemn Jesus for allowing His disciples eat with unwashed hands. “Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hand when they eat bread” (Matthew 15:1,2).

These accusers were critical and judgmental. Their approach to Jesus had a sinister motive. They wanted to prove to Jesus that they were more righteous. The Pharisees were of a strict sect within Judaism that came into prominence during the dark age of Israel’s history when God did not speak to the people of Israel through dreams, vision or through any prophets. This was in the second century B.C.

The Pharisees were fond of demonstrating a “holier than thou attitude”. They treated anyone who was not part of them as infidel who should be despised and disdained. On the other hand, the Scribes, also called lawyers, were teachers of the law. They specialized in copying out the law to replicate it for the people. They were learned men whose business was to study the law, transcribe it and write commentaries on it. Their assistance was often sought when an interpretation of a legal point was needed. DCLM Search The Scripture 11 September 2022 (Youth)

The Pharisees were zealous of the tradition of the elders. This zeal had made them to place the tradition over the commandment of God. Christian youths should not exalt the culture of the society or their level of education above the word of God.

Question 2: What are the common traditions of men and their associated dangers?

The Pharisees’ undue emphasis on tradition was like an addition to the Lord’s commandments. Any addition to God’s law contravenes His command. “…If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18). As in the days of Pharisees and Scribes that they exalted the tradition of elders above the commandments of God, some today also exalt traditions above God’s word.

The traditions that are being exalted above the word of God today are the worship of Mary, the mother of Jesus, feet washing and praying in the names of angels and saints, using of prayer books, water baptism by sprinkling of water, valentine celebration etc. Dangers abound if anyone exalts the tradition of men above God. It would lead to spiritual weakness, condemnation from Christ and eternal damnation.

DCLM Search The Scripture 11 September 2022 (Youth) | Lesson 36

SUPREMACY OF GOD’S COMMAND OVER TRADITION (Matthew 15:3-6; Leviticus 19:3; Ephesians 6:1,2; Exodus 20:12)

Unlike the Pharisees and the Scribes that laid undue emphasis on observance of traditions at the expense of the commandments of God, Jesus clearly stated the superiority and supremacy of the commandment of God over the traditions of men. “But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the of God by your tradition?

For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father and mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift …And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:3-6). In this point, Jesus lifted and exalted the fifth commandment of the Lord above the tradition of the Jews. The fifth commandment of the Lord taught the people to honour their parents, but the Jews had added a tradition that made them to disregard their parents.

The tradition permitted the people to inform their parents that what they could have given them had been offered to God. Jesus said that the ungodly tradition has in that process contradicted the plain teaching of the law. “Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 19:3). DCLM Search The Scripture 11 September 2022 (Youth)

Question 3: Why do youths disobey the word of God today?

The word of God is the commandment of God. The command of God is expected to be obeyed promptly (Psalm 119:60). It is painful to note that many youths show wrong attitude to God’s word and disobey them because: one, they love themselves above the word of God. Two, they are covetous and proud. Three, they do dishonour their Parents and four, they are not born again (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

SOLEMN COUNSEL BY CHRIST (Matthew 15:7-20; Colossians 2:18-22; Matthew 12:34,35; Proverbs 4:23; John 17:17; Romans 14:2,3; 1 Corinthians 8;8,9,13; Habakkuk 2: 15; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Leviticus 7:26; 19:26; 1 Corinthians 10:22-26)

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:7,8).

Question 4: What is hypocrisy and its consequences?

Hypocrisy is pretending to be what you are not because you are yet to have an encounter with Christ, the Saviour. Many youths today act as Christians at home and also at the church, but when they go out they live contrary. God frowns at hypocrisy. Youths exhibit hypocrisy in the following ways:

(1) Dressing like a Christian but inwardly are corrupt (Matthew 23:27).

(2) Attending church meetings regularly but far away from God (Matthew 15:8,9).

(3) Engaging in God’s service but not yet saved (Psalm 50: 16).

(4) Behaving like angels at home but do live like the world on campus.

Hypocrisy has great consequences because Christ condemns it. The effects of hypocrisy are rejection by Christ and eternal condemnation in hell (Matthew 23:33). The way out of these danger of hypocrisy is to repent and turn to Christ for salvation and be yourself. “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” (Matthew 15:11). DCLM Search The Scripture 11 September 2022 (Youth)

The people were made to understand that all sin in word or deed first originated from the heart. These all came out of the man to defile him. This show the priority of heart cleansing for believers. “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34,35).

There is the need for a Christian youth to press on to possess sanctification of the heart after salvation, else such a believer may not see God. Christ has indeed prayed for the heart purity of His disciples. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy world is truth” (John 17:17).

Question 5: Why should Christian youths pay great attention to the condition of their hearts?

Careless youths who allow themselves to be misled by the Pharisees in the church will face the same judgment that awaits all hypocrites. “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14). Jesus emphasised the fact that what makes a person unclean is the evil that comes out of the mouth, not the food that goes into it.

The heart, which is the engine house of the body, is the source of all evils and must be cleansed if a person is to be able to please God Almighty. All manner of sins such as murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies all emanate from the heart of man, and these are the things that defile a man, not what he eats. “For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him” (Romans 14:2,3). Here, the Lord through His servant was telling believers not to criticize people or judge them on account of what they eat or what they don’t eat.

There is however, a limitation to believers’ liberty this regard. There is a word of caution on this.”But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better, neither if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend” (1 Corinthians 8:8,9,13).

In addition, believers cannot take alcohol or smoke, cigarette, marijuana or any hard drug. It is equally abominable for believers to eat anything offered in sacrifice to idols. (Habakkuk 2:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Leviticus 7:26; 17:10,12,14; 19:26; 1 Corinthians 10:22-26).

Thank you for reading DCLM Search The Scripture 11 September 2022 (Youth), Lesson 36