1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” 3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER’; and, ‘HE WHO CURSES FATHER OR MOTHER, LET HIM BE PUT TO DEATH.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”—6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. (Matthew 15:1-6)
A tradition is that which is handed down from one party to another. Many traditions are harmless. But in this instance, the “tradition of the elders” concerning washing and eating was being bound upon Christ’s disciples as if it were from God; It was not. Jesus rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for replacing God’s commandments with their traditions. Be careful not to bind your traditions on others as if they are from God. And, be careful to honor God’s commandments above any tradition man attempts to impose at the expense of obeying God.