A Call to Commitment
Category : General
St. Mark 7: 6 (KJV)
6He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Commitment is an act, not just something you have spoken. Unless commitment is made there are only promises and hopes, but no plans. Christian commitment is the spiritual act of living out what you say you believe.
The Scripture to which Jesus here referred is Isaiah 29:13. Jesus charged his critics with two violations of God’s law: (1) they were hypocrites, pretending a piety they did not have, affirming a love of God they did not have, and voicing a religious concern which was non-existent within them; (2) they had substituted the precepts of men for the word of God..
Matthew postpones the following citation and application of the prophecy of Isaiah, to the account of the command of God being broken by the tradition of Corban; which Mark makes the answer of Christ to begin with: well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites; which in Matthew is read, “ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you”, Matthew 15:7; to the same sense as here: for the prophecy of Isaiah not only described the hypocrites of his time, but had respect chiefly to the Jews in succeeding ages, in the times of Christ, and both before and after; when they would, as they did, greatly degenerate, and lost the power and spirituality of religion, and had only the form of it; left the word of God for the traditions of men, and were given up to great stupidity, and to judicial blindness: hence the Apostle Paul refers to a passage in the same chapter, Isaiah 29:10, and applies it to the Jews in his time, Romans 11:8
In the Prophet Isaiah more is said than is here cited; and so in Matthew more is produced, and the whole is there expressed thus: “this people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”, Matthew 15:8, they presented their bodies before the Lord in the synagogues, or in the temple, and prayed to him with an air of devotion and fervency, and offered up their praises to him, for their external privileges and blessings; but, alas! this was all lip labour; there was no lifting up their hearts, with their hands, unto God; these were not united to fear his name, but were distracted in his worship, and carried away from him to other object
As clearly as Christ could have stated it, the principle is laid out here that the worship of God which consists in the observance of human precepts and traditions is vain and useless. Thus, the question of overwhelming importance regarding the worship of God must ever be the question of authority. Would not Jesus say the same thing of many so-called Christian observances of our own times? Are not the traditions and precepts of men the principal guidelines that men follow? Where has God ever commanded all of the things that people are doing in the name of His holy religion?
It costs to be faithful. It cost Abraham the yielding up of his only son. It cost Esther to risk her own life. It cost Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being put into a fiery furnace. It cost Stephen death by stoning. It cost Paul his life. Does it cost you anything to be faithful to your Lord and King? What has or will cost you?
Have a great and God filled day!