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Mark 7, One day some Jewish religious leaders from Jerusalem investigated Jesus, and noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the usual Jewish rituals before eating. So they must always sprinkle themselves before touching any food. There are many examples of laws and regulations they have clung to for centuries such as their ceremony of cleansing for pots, pans, and dishes. So the leaders asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old customs? For they eat without first performing the washing ceremony.” Jesus replied, “You bunch of hypocrites! Isaiah the prophet described you very well. Isaiah said‘These people speak very prettily about the Lord but have no love for him at all. Their worship is a farce, for they claim that God commands the people to obey their petty rules.’ How right Isaiah was! For you ignore God’s specific orders and substitute your own traditions. You are simply rejecting God’s laws and trampling them under your feet for the sake of tradition. “For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother.’ And he said that anyone who speaks against his father or mother must die. But you say it is perfectly all right for a man to disregard his needy parents, telling them, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you! I have given to God what I could have given to you AND you break the law of God in order to protect your man-made tradition. It is the thought-life that pollutes. For out of men’s hearts come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly. All these vile things come from within pollute you and make you unfit for God.” FRIENDS, RELIGION, AND RITUALS CAN KEEP US FROM THE TRUTHS OF GOD'S WORD. Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.