Matthew 15 and Mark 7

There are lots of rules.  Most are unstated.  There are rules that exist as social norms or standards (think elevator decorum).  The written rules, laws, or commands come from a variety of sources including God.  Within fellowships of faith, there may be written rules even policy statements.  Such manmade rules must not ever be allowed to supersede God’s commands or alter God’s commands.  There are rules of a personal nature as well.  These rules are driven by personal motivation and desires.  These desires give us permission to be the exception.  We may believe that the rules intended for others exclude us.  Jesus says that our response to rules says something about who we are.  Within each of us is a heart that can align with God and his will.  It is difficult at best to keep our heart aligned with God.  We may use rules to help define the boundaries of our heart.  Jesus says it isn’t the ability to keep rules that proves one’s allegiance with God.  It is possible to keep rules without the heart being aligned with God.  The heart matters.  A heart set on God isn’t motivated by selfish desires but how to honor Him.