“Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.” These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Matthew 15:2,8 (NLT)
A story was told of an event that happened a long time ago in an army garrison. A concrete memorial was erected for fallen heroes and in the night some animals came there and trampled upon it, seeing that it was still wet the slab fell and every time it was being replaced and this continued for a while until the General in charge thought it wise to assigned two recruits to guard the slab until it was dried, In the process, this general was transferred and the new general continued this tradition without knowing why it was so and this continued for years until one general whilst checking through the archives saw the original reason why soldiers where assigned to such assignment which was way passed its usefulness.
This illustration aptly describes the situation where Jesus found himself in his dealings with the Pharisees as echoed in our text and also in seventh chapter of Mark’s Gospel, The scribes have practiced a tradition which was for a time and it had long passed it effectiveness (Acts 13: 39), despite Jesus coming to show them the way (John 14: 6), they in their stubbornness chose not to adhere thereby making the word which is Christ of no effect to them (Gal 5: 4).
Jesus Christ obviously didn’t come to abolish the law (i.e Moses) but on the contrary to fulfill it which means bring it to completion and had they leveraged on this premise they would have ceased from their many excessive labours;
Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them. Matt 5: 17 (Amp)
And this simply means we as believers need not go through the same ordeals of taste not handle not to become accepted by the father other than to enter into the rest Jesus has obtained for us (See Col 2: 20-23).
On another hand our text could also be a pointer to the usefulness of the dealings of God in our lives per season (Ecc 3;1) and we risk making it a tradition if we don’t seek a fresh dealing every time and thereby we risk running with a stale instruction which makes us lack true knowledge and inevitable leads us to being destroyed (Hosea 4: 6).
Most instructions from the Lord as pertaining our love walk is always time based and the reason for this is so that we can learn the sacred art of dependency and trust in him rather than leaning on our own understanding (Prov 3: 5) and this is the pathway of sons (Rom 8: 14).