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Yesterday I said that in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees set the standard for the outward practice of the Jewish religion. Hmmm, you would have thought that Jesus did that.  Not according to the Pharisees, because they based it on rule keeping. That was their biggest complaint about Jesus—he did not outwardly keep the all the rules, so he must not be religious.  These traditions were not necessarily things written in the Law of Moses (a part of our Bible’s Old Testament). Over time, they had come up with a whole additional set of traditions and rules that pious people were expected to keep. The intent was good, at least originally—they were to make sure the Law was kept. But as we will see on Sunday, Jesus took issue with the clutter of traditions and rules as a way to please God.

Prayer: Dear God, over time, my heart has become cluttered with things that started out as good intentions but now keep me from you.  Please remove these from my heart! 

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