But you say, If anyone tells his father or mother, What you would have gained from me [that is, the money and whatever I have that might be used for helping you] is already dedicated as a gift to God, then he is exempt and no longer under obligation to honor and help his father or his mother.
But you say a person can tell his father or mother, ‘I have something I could use to help you, but I have ·given [dedicated; devoted] it to God already [C a practice known as Corban; see Mark 7:10–12].’
“Tell me,” replied Jesus, “why do you break God’s commandment through your tradition? For God said, ‘Honour your father and your mother’, and ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death’. But you say that if a man tells his parents, ‘Whatever use I might have been to you is now given to God’, then he owes no further duty to his parents. And so your tradition empties the commandment of God of all its meaning. You hypocrites! Isaiah describes you beautifully when he said: ‘These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men’.”
But you say, ‘Even if your parents are in need, you may give their support money to the church instead.’ And so, by your man-made rule, you nullify the direct command of God to honor and care for your parents.
But Jesus put it right back on them. “Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands? God clearly says, ‘Respect your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.’ But you weasel around that by saying, ‘Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I’ve given to God.’ That can hardly be called respecting a parent. You cancel God’s command by your rules. Frauds! Isaiah’s prophecy of you hit the bull’s-eye: These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it. They act like they’re worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy.”
“But you teach that it’s permissible to say to your parents when they are in financial need, ‘Whatever gift you would have received from me I can keep for myself, since I dedicated it as an offering to God.’
But you say that one need no longer honor his parents so long as he says to them, “What you might have gained from me, I now give to the glory of God.” Haven’t you let your tradition trump the word of God?
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