Thoughts on Matthew 15 and the traditions of the elders

When man-made rules are taught as the laws of God, all worship becomes useless.
— Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, p. 54

As Jesus demonstrates so clearly in his message in Matthew 15:1-20, man-made rules miss the heart because they focus on externals. Man-made rules mask the human problem of sin and corruption whereas the commandments of God unmask us and bring knowledge of sin. 

God’s word – and His laws in particular – strike right at the very centre of our corruption and sin – our hearts. 

That’s what this showdown was all about on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee – in the land of Genessesaret. This was a contest between two opposing views of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures to be the only rule of faith. It was a contest of views between the LORD Jesus Christ who was calling His people to return to and focus on the whole manner of worship which God requires of us... and the Pharisees and their extensive efforts to supplement and surround the Commandments of God with a web of traditions.

Jesus was confronting the blind leaders who were trying to lead the blinded people and warning them of the consequences of what they were doing: for the sake of their tradition, they had made void the Word of God.

So. How might we today heed this warning?