Growing up, on many occasions when my dad was leaving the house, he would ask if I wanted to go with him. My answer was usually “sure”, except on Sunday mornings because that meant going to church. Now, it wasn’t because of attending church; I just hated wearing a three-piece suit. Putting on all those clothes to dress like a modern-day aerostatic noble made no sense to me, and sadly, that thought has not changed even today. However, what I gleaned from that is the meaning of tradition.
The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
Tradition can be deeply enrooted into people’s minds and become more important than the laws and promises of God in their hearts. They formulate our belief system and direct how members of our communities behave and respond to one another.
11 Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:
2 “Are all these words to go unanswered?
Is this talker to be vindicated?
3 Will your idle talk reduce others to silence?
Will no one rebuke you when you mock?
4 You say to God, ‘My beliefs are flawless
and I am pure in your sight.’
5 Oh, how I wish that God would speak,
that he would open his lips against you
6 and disclose to you the secrets of wisdom,
for true wisdom has two sides.
Know this: God has even forgotten some of your sin.
Job was suffering because God favored him. However, Zophar believes that Job has committed a great sin and was being punished as many others did. Why did Zophar believe this? Why do many of us think when bad things happen, we’ve done something terrible and are being punished, and when good things happen, we’ve done something that deserves a reward? We believe that simply because that is what we’ve been taught. Human society is built on this principle, but we forget the Kingdom of God is built on God’s principles.
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you.
23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
Jesus came, healed, mended, and restored many broken people but was rejected; why? Jesus walked in Kingdom principles and not human principles, thus going against the people’s traditions. Because of this, their beliefs and trust in the traditional values prevented them from accepting Kingdom principles. On the other hand, many gentiles were able to see past their traditions and truly take in the wonders of the Kingdom principles that Jesus came to teach. Those who were able to see Jesus as more than just a man could see the glory and wonders of God.
9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So, he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
A broken man’s life was healed and restored on the day of rest. Unfortunately, the Pharisees closed their minds and hearts to the fact that the man was helped and restored to help display our value and God’s love. All they saw was that Jesus did not follow the rules, the law in which they believed to be more valuable than even human life.
I ask you, what tradition(s) of this world are keeping you bound and from walking in the light of God’s Kingdom?