The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) Mark 7:1-4 NIV
The words which really jump out at me in the passage are ceremonial washing and holding to the traditions of the elders. How much are traditions and ceremonies a part of our lives? Ceremonies and traditions, in and of themselves are not bad. What makes them not good is if they are in conflict with God’s Word. We may observe ceremonies and traditions which align with following in the steps of Jesus. Too much emphasis is placed on man-made traditions and ceremonies. If we would spend more time focusing on Christ and the Word of God and less time on human traditions we would be much better off. Spend your time focusing on God’s word, spending time in prayer with the Lord, and taking action to advance God’s kingdom. Leave the traditions of mankind to those of this world.