Between last Sunday and tomorrow, the lectionary skips over Matthew 15.1-9. While we hear a similar reading from Mark, the version from Matthew stresses that we can sometimes twist the word of God to our own devices:
He answered them, ‘And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?4For God said, “Honour your father and your mother,” and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” 5But you say that whoever tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God”, then that person need not honor the father.6So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word of God. – Matthew 15.3-6
This is an important reminder that Scripture must always be interpreted carefully and with an eye to the compassion and love of Jesus. If our reading of the Bible suits our own desires but doesn’t lead us to love our neighbor, we are at grave risk of making void the word of God.