Matthew 15:1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." 3 He answered them, "And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' 5 But you say, 'If anyone tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, 6 he need not honor his father.' So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
The scribes and Pharisees were in the top 2% of the population economically. They were the teachers of the Law, God's Word (Matthew 23:1-3). The scribes and Pharisees taught God's people were to tithe their financial income. They taught the Ten Commandments, one of which was, "Honor your father and mother." The scribes and Pharisees, however, did not practice God's word, but lived according to their sinful desires (Matthew 23:3, 25). To fulfill their inward sinful desires and still appear to obey the Word of God externally, they developed many traditions on how to "keep" the Law, the Word of God and still fulfill their sinful desires.
Jesus and His disciples displayed life lived according to God's Word and not according to the traditions of men. The scribes and Pharisees complained to Jesus about His disciples breaking the tradition of the elders. Jesus used their complaint as an opportunity to expose their sin of greed and self-indulgence (Matthew 23:25). The scribes and Pharisees taught that God's people should tithe their money to God and the rest was theirs to live on. They also taught that if their mother or father had a need, they could tell them they gave what could have helped them (their tithe) to God. The scribes and Pharisees could have given of their 90% to help their mother and father, but their greed and self-indulgence wanted to use it for themselves and not to honor their father and mother. In not helping their parents, the Jews dishonored and reviled their parents and thus broke God's Law while keeping the tradition of man and looking righteous because they tithed their money. I was once asked if a person could use the tithe to the church to help a relative. The person wanted to help the relative, but also go on their five thousand dollar vacation. My answer: "Use the tithe to the church or God's work to help the relative, only if you don't have enough outside the tithe for basic necessities after you help the relative."
The scribes and Pharisees made traditions that allowed them to be live in greed and self-indulgence while appearing to be serving God to all around them. Do we have traditions that we use to enable us to look righteous externally, yet still indulge our sinful desires? We'll explore tomorrow more on how to expose the doctrines of men using the Word of God.