Now when the Pharisees gathered to him, with some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”
Comment: These Pharisees and Scribes had come from Jerusalem to Galilee, which is a distance of give or take about 150 Km. Presumably Jesus fame had spread south to the capital and this group came to suss Him out. How did Jesus fit into their thinking! Soon they saw Jesus and His disciples doing something that seriously displeased them. Not that Jesus was breaking the Law as given by God to the Jews through Moses, but they were breaking additional subsections which the leaders had added to those initial laws. They had imposed a particular way of hand washing, and a lot of other traditions in relationship to washing cooking utensils. It is interesting that they don’t challenge Him on breaking God’s Law but of breaking their traditions!
Prayer: Deliver me from legalism into the freedom which Jesus offers, in my service of You.