DEVOTIONS AND SERMONS

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Traditions And Festivals
 

What does it mean tradition? As per Dictionary, oral transmission of knowledge or belief from one generation to another, tale or belief or custom so transmitted.

Bible says, precepts and rules, not in the written law, but believed to have given by God to Moses. Orally transmitted from generation to generation, they were to be obeyed with the same reverence as the Law.

Traditions if its against the word of God we compromise with sin and simplifies the method of revering the God according to people’s convenience taught by religious leaders.

The religious Leaders like Pharisees and Law teachers lead the people forcing them to obey to legalism and ritual ways, which is against God’s commands.

Matthew 15:1-3,6
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,
2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"
3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?

6 he is not to 'honor his father ' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.


Jesus was against this tradition and condemns the ritual ways.

In V1,2 the Pharisees and teachers were very much worried about the outward (physical body) cleanliness rather than spiritual cleanliness (i.e., clearing the deceitful heart)

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

1. Tradition nullifies God command

So, Jesus was emphasising to them about God’s requirements.

John 15:6
he is not to 'honor his father ' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.

Isaiah 29:13
The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.

God Jehovah hates, so his son Jesus also hates the ritual things.

Mark 7:3-4
3 The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders.
4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.


When they come from the market place they do not eat unless they wash.

And they observe many other traditions, such as washing of cups, pitches and kettles.”

Mark 7:9
Jesus said to them, “ You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in orders to observe your own tradition“.

Poor and illiterate people will be attracted with this fine way of setting aside the commands of God.

This practice is still in the denomination world, such as, lighting the candles in the church, garlanding the statues, putting prayer petitions in the offering box, once in a year during Christmas and Easter Sundays attending the church for the sake of partaking in the communion, attending cemetery for all soul’s day, attending church for getting blessings from Pope or Arch Bishop or Reverent, or Church Fathers etc.

Mark 7:8
You have let go the commands of God and are holding on the traditions of men”

Mark 7:14-15
14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.
15 Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'"


Jesus talks about men’s heart which is a deceitful and beyond cure.

Apostle Paul cautions disciples about the traditions in Col. 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

In v 18-23 Paul warns about the following the tradition.(explain)

Festivals

Festivals and feast are often mentioned in the Bible in the O.T. ISRAELITES CELEBRATE IMPROTANT OR JOYFUL EVENTS.

Three annual feasts were require by Mosaic Law. First was Passover, the second is the Pentecost occuring fifty days after Passover, the third festival is the feast of Tabernacles on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, lasting for seven days, it commemorated the period in the wilderness

Leviticus 23:33-34
33 The LORD said to Moses,
34 "Say to the Israelites: 'On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the Lord's Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days.


All adult males were required to appear on these three occasions.

Exodus 23:17
Three times a year all the men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD.

Another important religious feast is the feast of Purim celebrating the deliverance of the Jews at the time of Esther

Esther 9:21-28
21 to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar
22 as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor.
23 So the Jews agreed to continue the celebration they had begun, doing what Mordecai had written to them.
24 For Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted against the Jews to destroy them and had cast the pur (that is, the lot) for their ruin and destruction.
25 But when the plot came to the king's attention, he issued written orders that the evil scheme Haman had devised against the Jews should come back onto his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.
26 (Therefore these days were called Purim, from the word pur.) Because of everything written in this letter and because of what they had seen and what had happened to them,
27 the Jews took it upon themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed.
28 These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never cease to be celebrated by the Jews, nor should the memory of them die out among their descendants.


The above mentioned festivals are biblical as well as based on history of Israelites.

God himself commanded them to observe, where as the other religious festivals are not having any historical evidence, only man made.

I Corinthians 5:7-8
7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast--as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.


Christ is the Passover lamb and we Christians need not celebrate any festival or observe these days except concentrate on the cross of Jesus, who shed his precious blood for our redemption. Let us pray together.