Once after tha Son and his mates healed sinners and Samaritans, some Pharisees asked tha Son, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the traditions of the elders and wash their hands after leaving the marketplace?”
Now back then, them holding to tha tradition of tha elders would not take so much as one bite unless they give thar hands a thorough washing. This be especially so after they come from tha marketplace. They also kept many other traditions, such as washing of cups, pitchers and kettles fer eating.
No doubt, ya may ‘ave heard yer mum say sumpin like, “Wash yer hands ‘fore coming ter tha table. Cleanliness be next ter godliness.”
Only personal hygiene not be tha thing that riled tha Pharisees and teachers of tha law. No, tha thing that stuck in thar craw be tha riffraff tha Son and his mates hung out with. Tha snooty, critical attitude of tha religious leaders be in opposition ter tha welcoming, loving approach of tha Son: in fact, be an affront ter tha Son.
“You honor me with your lips,” tha Son said, “but your hearts are far from me.”
A long time later in tha Revelation of him self tha Son charged folks in tha Church in Ephesus with a similar attitude.
“I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen!” (Revelation 2:4)
Ter be sure them in Ephesus meant well. They be busy ’bout helping others. They refused ter tolerate wicked people. They tested them who claimed ter be apostles, but missed tha mark. They persevered and endured hardships fer tha sake of tha Son and Skipper. They pressed on without growing weary. And still tha Son warned that if they refused ter come back in ter his arms and love him with all thar heart he would remove thar influence and authority.
A good many folks and crew and congregates be like tha Pharisees and teachers of the law and them in Ephesus. With thar lips they spout a good line ’bout loving tha Son, but thar hearts be elsewhere.
Fer some thar hearts be on traditions they growed up with.
Fer some thar hearts be on making sure all keep ter tha rules and kicking out any who step out of line.
Fer some thar hearts be on meeting tha physical needs of others whilst failing ter point folks back ter tha Son.
Fer some thar hearts be on accepting all without correcting and rebuking any — even tha most unrepentant sinners.
All miss tha mark. Our first task ought always ter be ter fall in ter tha arms of tha Son and love him only. This be right easy ter do when we think on how little we deserve his love and how great his love be fer us.
If ya think ya deserve tha Son’s love then ya think ter highly of yer self. Only way ter get shed of that attitude and come out of tha darkness and in ter tha Son’s light, be ter exchange yer life fer tha Son’s. Only then kin ya love others with tha love Skipper has fer ya. Question be: will ya?