One time Jesus skipped the ceremonial hand washing before he ate. The Pharisees took notice of his omission and were about to criticize him when he took preemptive action, giving them a teaching about six woes:
- Tithing, but neglecting justice and God’s love (v 42)
- Loving others to be noticed and respected (v 43)
- Being like unmarked graves — an unseen danger (v 44)
- Making unrealistic demands of others (that they don’t do) and not helping out (v 46)
- Implicitly honoring the sins of their ancestors (v 47-51)
- Hiding the truth from people — and missing it themselves (v 52)
When considering these six woes, ceremonial hand washing isn’t a big deal.
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.