Man looks on the outward appearance (this is what the scribes and Pharisees were concerned with), but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). Jesus looked on men’s hearts. The Old Testament laws concerning washing served a secondary purpose of hygiene, but as stated in Colossians 2:16-17 and Hebrews 9:1,9-10, their real purpose was to shadow or illustrate spiritual truth.
Defiled food may hurt our bodies, but it cannot reach our spirits (Jn. 3:6).
The scribes and Pharisees missed the principle of spiritual purity taught by the Old Testament ordinances and became obsessed with strict adherence to their rituals. While they relentlessly enforced the laws dealing with the physical realm, they had become completely corrupt in the spiritual realm.
‘The law is not of faith.’ When combined with Romans 14:23 which says, ‘…whatsoever is not of faith is sin,’ this statement must have been near blasphemy to the legalistic Jews, just as it is to legalistic Christians today. It is sin for the New Testament believer to try to relate to God by attempting to keep the Old Testament law. The law itself is not sin (Rom. 7:7). But it is sin to try to use the law for justification with God. This was never the purpose of the law.
Under the law a person got what he deserved. Under faith, the New Testament believer receives grace because of what Jesus did for him. Any departure from faith, especially a departure back to the Old Testament law, voids the work of Christ (Gal. 2:21) and is the worst sin of all. Only faith in Jesus Christ has the key that unlocks the door to the law’s harsh imprisonment of guilt and condemnation. With a great price He has purchased your freedom. Walk in it today and enjoy His Life.