“Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5: 19). To set aside what the Lord has commanded and to teach others the same is a very serious thing. Does this mean that what the Lord taught was a set of ritualistic duties – a religious law? The Pharisees focused on religious acts rather than the substance and heart of God’s word. In doing so they set aside God’s commands for traditions of men. (Matt. 15: 4-9). Yeshua said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”. (Matthew 5: 43-45).
Have we obeyed traditions of men and ignored God’s heart of love, forgiveness, and devotion? How many clear passages of scripture have we set aside as no longer relevant or applicable in our day? How many traditions of our leaders and forefathers have we attributed as more important than to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22: 37, 39). How often do we separate from, judge and slander other Believers because of our interpretations, traditions, and pride? I’m not referring to those who have abandoned the clear word of God in order to please the worldly man. For example, accepting same sex marriage is exactly what this scripture describes as setting aside God’s commands regarding marriage for man’s ways.
We are not to judge others, but to consider ourselves and our devotion to God’s Word. As I pose these questions it is not to point the finger in accusation, but to call for a personal renewal of faith in God alone. The world exalts money and wealth, but let us exalt God alone. The world urges self actualization, but let us surrender ourselves to God Almighty. Let us be ignorant of the world and its ways, but hold fast to every command and teach God’s word accordingly.