God Has Spoken
February 18, 2021
He answered and said to them, "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God" - then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men'" (Matthew 15:3-9).
. . . “You have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition.” Again, each word in this indictment of Jesus is revealing, affirming, and damning.
The first revelation given in Jesus’ statement is that God is; God exists. The second revelation is that God has spoken and continues to speak to us. There are several ways in which this truth is affirmed.
God is not limited to one specific form of communication. The Bible records God speaking to individuals, families, and nations through creation (Psalm 19:1-2; Romans 1:18-20), angels (Luke 1:5-38), prophets (2 Samuel 24:10-25), dreams and visions (Genesis 40:1-23; Daniel 2:1–45), miracles (Exodus 7:8 - 11:10), and direct communication (verbal and otherwise; Acts 9:10–18). Does God still speak to us in these forms? He can, but He has chosen to speak to us primarily through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2), the Holy Spirit (Matthew 10:18-20; John 14:25-26, 16:7-8,13; Romans 8:26), the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and through His pastors and teachers (1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2:13).
Again, a person can choose to affirm that God has spoken and continues to actively speak to us daily. If we choose to believe His Word in faith, it is to our benefit and blessing. If we choose to reject His Word, it is to our detriment and damnation. But it is a choice each of us must make.
The scribes and Pharisees believed in the existence of God. They also believed that God had spoken through His commandments and the historical record of His interaction with their forefathers. They chose, however, to set aside the Word of God in favor of the traditions of the elders, and they chose not to believe the words of Jesus. For this, Jesus condemned them as hypocrites and sinners ready to be judged by God for their sin.
“Lord Jesus, keep us firmly rooted in Your Word and focused on the application of Your Word into our lives. May our lives reflect Your Word living in and through us, drawing people to You so they too can be saved and discipled in the Christian faith. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”