Human Traditions vs God's Commandments

According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, keeping our hands clean is the most important thing we can do in order to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.  Many diseases and other conditions are spread by not properly washing our hands with soap and clean running water.  In addition to the latter statement, the CDC website goes on to explain in detail how germs get onto people’s hands, the various ways in which these germs spread to others via ones hands, how these germs can kill children around the world, and how hand washing can help battle the rise in antibiotic resistance.  Hence, the importance of signs at restaurants and other businesses’ restrooms stating that employees must wash their hands before returning to work, as well as the schools emphasis on educating children to wash their hands and other similar campaigns.  Was Jesus negating the latter?  No. As Jesus often did, he was speaking metaphorically, so please continue to wash your hands before meals!

Backstory Preaching Sermon Writing Prep
Bible Stories As 3-Panel Comic Strips
What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 530

So, what was Jesus’ dispute really about in Mark 7:1-23, when the Pharisees question his followers' hand cleanliness when eating?  It’s about what goes out, not what goes in.  This is why he quotes Isaiah in verses 6-7, who said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.  The accusation is directed at this group of Pharisees, whom are concerned with physical issues addressed by the elders.  In contrast, Jesus is concerned with the human heart, from which good and evil can be derived.  That’s what’s important in our walk in Jesus.

Mixed Media ATC
Tim Holtz Washi Tape, Mini-Stapler, Die, Distress Ink Pad, and Embossing Folder; Ranger Big & Juicy Pad; Dymo Label Maker; Sharpie Poster Marker; Flowers, Beads & Sequins
Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Bright and Cheerful
Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge - Anything Goes
Try It On Tuesday - Splatters and Splodges

Secondly, Jesus is concerned about the anthrōpos, human being, not one’s dietary and health related habits addressed in this elders’ tradition.  In the words of Joel Marcus, a theologian at Duke University, it “is not how or what one should eat but the internal corruption of the anthrōpos. It is this malignancy that chokes the life out of tradition, turns it into an enemy of God, contorts it into a way of excusing injustice, and blinds those afflicted by it to their own culpability for the evils that trouble the world.  That’s why Jesus lists some of the non-exhaustive evil things that defile humans.

Life Is Better At The Beach
Fashion Illustration Study
Art Journal Journey - Anything With Eyes
More Mixed Media Challenge - Anything Goes Optional Pastel
Paint Party Friday - Week 22 Year 9

Thirdly, we need to be very much aware of how Satan is lurking in the shadows of our lives.  Just like the Pharisees and scribes in this passage, we are often too quick to point out other’s wrongdoings, diverting attention to our own propensity to do the same.  Take for example Facebook or any other social media, where you can often find people making broad generalizations or false accusations about political groups, controversial issues, racial/ethnic groups, etcetera.  Our own sports, cultural, political, and other leaders aren’t any better.  That’s Satan trying to reel us in.

Walk In Love As Christ Loved Us
Prayer Flag Foot Print Making at Camp Capers
T Stands for Tuesday - Ticklish Feet

In the words of Matt Skinner, professor at Luther Seminary, “We know enough about the human condition to say that evil is about more than an individual's selfishness or bad decisions. It roams our collective existence, our social, economic, and familial systems. We are at once perpetrators and victims. And our victimization furthers our capacity to perpetrate. "The human heart,” or the human will, remains a complex thing. Our kin and culture usually keep us ingrained in patterns of defiling self-destructiveness and idolatry.
Now that is a mouthful, isn’t it?  Therefore, being a friend of Jesus is not an easy task, due to our human frailties.  It’s much more than me writing this sermon and you sitting here.  As our own Presiding Bishop Michael Curry wrote in his book, Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus, “being a Christian is not essentially about joining a church or being a nice person, but about following in the footsteps of Jesus, taking his teachings seriously, letting his Spirit take the lead in our lives, and in so doing helping to change the world from our nightmare into God’s dream.

Celebrating God's Creation
Garden Chapel Service at Camp Capers
Word Art Wednesday - Weeks #398-399
Summer Happiness Link Party
Inspire Me Monday - Week #394

In closing, let us leave behind the “human traditions” that misconstrue God’s commandments.  Jesus never denies the validity of the Mosaic law or the Ten Commandments, but does reject interpretations and practices that deviate or obscure their intent.  As Bishop Curry says, “If it’s not about love, it’s not about God.  Let us lead our lives in the loving, liberating, and life giving ways of Jesus.  And remember, “Wash your hands and say your prayers, because Jesus and germs are everywhere.


Valerie-Jael said…
Lots of beautiful art, as always. Happy PPF, Valerie
Valerie-Jael said…
...And thanks for joining us at More mixed Media challenge, much appreciated! Valerie
Christine said…
Lovely art Arnoldo!
Meggymay said…
A really interesting post to read and your art projects look fantastic.
Thank you so much for linking one of your pieces to our theme at Try it on Tuesdays.
Hi Arnoldo, I love your art work but can't go without reading some of your thoughts about the bible too and much appreciate them. Hope you have a great weekend, Angela xXx
Linda Kunsman said…
Beautiful art and teachings Arnoldo. Happy PPF!
Washing of hands was one of the first things I remember being taught and one I passed on to my own as well as the routine I had within my workplace. There's much more to it that just keeping them clean.
Fabulous ATC's and delightful face sketch.. Life sure is better at the beach. Thanks for sharing your art thoughts and words with us all.
Creative blessings Tracey.
Gillena Cox said…
Ah yes, hand washing is important. Luv this week's art. Happy you dropped by my blog

I totally agree about hand washing, and I also believe in bring sanitary wipes with me when water isn't available. Lovely tribute, too.

Your ATCs are darling. I love houses. Of course, your beautiful beach scene which is a great first entry for Gill's theme is perfect for Art Journal Journey. You have so many wonderful gifts you shared with us this week and we are thrilled to read about them all.
You are an amazing teacher and artist !
Terrific pieces of art this week - you are such a unique artist! A wonderful posting with great thoughts!
Thank you very much for joining in again at AJJ an Try It On Tuesday!
Great to have you with us!
Wishing a happy Sunday and a great next week!
Blessings sent from Austria

Susi xxx
Sarah Brennan said…
I love how your art reflects faith Arnoldo. What a fabulous way to illustrate the message. Happy belated WOYWW and thanks for the visit. Sarah #9
sirkkis said…
Thank you for your interesting thoughts and beautiful art, Arnoldo. Especially love the 'Fashion related face'.
Happy weekend and upcoming week xx
Cath Wilson said…
Wonderful art, as ever, and some food for thought...even though half your quotes ARE a mouthful, lol. Love is all... and that's what your final quote says :-) Amen to that!
Love your visual way of prepping sermons... I would have pages and pages of words... amazing how we are all so divinely different.
Thanks for playing along with our Splatters and Splodges Challenge at Try it on Tuesday.
Cath x
A most interesting read - thank you - and I Totally agree about handwashing.
'Life is better at the beach' is fabulous - thank you for sharing that at AJJ.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.... Gill
Glenda said…
i'm sorry to be so late to visit! I love your art and appreciate your views on the bible as well.
Glenda #17
Christine said…
Love your last comment (will print print for the wall the quote about Love and God if you don't mind) I brought my children up with similar words.
God Bless your work
Christine #23
carol l mckenna said…
Wonderful sketching and I so honor your faith and practice ~ ^_^

Happy Day to You,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
sheila 77 said…
Hello Arnoldo. Good to see you again and thanks for your very nice comment at Orange E.
Hand washing to deep thoughts and advice on how to live - all fascinating. I read every word and must read it again.
Your AJJ lady looks as if she is ready to have a good day at the beach, or anywhere really, I like her headband, and am intrigued by the "ticklish feet" prayer flags.
Have a great week ahead.
Shoshi said…
I agree with the others, Arnoldo - I love how you illustrate your great teaching with such beautiful art work. Art is certainly a very important part of your ministry. I am sure that it touches people in the way that words cannot always manage to do. The combination is like the combination of words and music - the sum is greater than the parts. I love your ATCs and the face sketch is beautiful! As for hand-washing, over the few times I've been in hospital over the past few years, I've noticed a move away from the push to use the sanitation fluid in favour of good old-fashioned hand-washing with soap and water! It is interesting also, the emphasis on the fact that it must be running water, and not just still water in a bowl, in order to flush away the germs and dirt. In Hebrew this running water is mayim chayim - "living water." The ritual hand-washing of the Jews around the table at Shabbat, Pesach, etc., always involves water being poured over the hands, and not just the individual dibbling in the bowl. It also requires the involvement of another person to do the pouring - the job of the servant. This is of course what Jesus did when he washed the disciples' feet, and what He requires us to do for each other.

Thank you for your visit - sorry to be late replying but it's been a very busy few days. I'm not sure when I'm going to begin drawing on my teabag stains. I put some more teabags to dry yesterday so I will have plenty. Glad you enjoyed seeing Ruby rolling around in the sink! She's such a funny kitty.

Happy belated WOYWW,
Shoshi #18
Good advice and plenty to think about too! Bishop Curry's words are so true! Love your art too, as ever! Oh! to be at the the sunshine!!! Thank you so much for joining us at Try It On Tuesday with this lovely trio of tags! Have a great week! Chrisx
So much wonderful art today. Your ATC's are fantastic as is your sketches. Thanks for linking up with us at Try It On Tuesday. Hugs-Erika
Thanks for your visit Arnoldo and I'm sorry to be a bit late visiting you back. The bible camp seems to be in full swing with thought-provoking messages and beautiful art to illustrate them - enjoy the rest of the summer! zsuzsa #16 from WOYWW
NatureFootstep said…
staying clean is a good thing.
DVArtist said…
Wow this is just a beautiful and full post. Love all of your art.
Lillianb said…
Llovely art, Thank you for your visit to my blog,

Lilian B #16
Beth Niquette said…
Wonderful artwork--and a lot of meat to chew on. :D