The opening verses of chapter 15 really strike me this morning, as I look at them in the different (to me) language that Ruden uses. The pharisees ask Jesus why He lets the disciples "overstep the laws the ancestors handed down" and Jesus retorts that thy have overstepped God's law through the rules they have handed down. The parallel, which has always been there, comes more clear for me in "overstep the law".
This theme is repeated later in the chapter when Jesus talks about what makes a person "clean". In her notes, Ruden suggests that Jesus is following in thee Rabbinic tradition that says that pure intentions are more important that physically keeping the law. I was just reading about the Straw Hat Riots that happened in New York in 1922 when young men started beating people up because they were wearing straw hats at the wrong time of year. It is easy to get into a mode where you think the rules are really important. I can be prone to this, for sure.
There are rules that God has put into place for our good, and maybe there are places where we follow the rules just because they are the rules. Jesus says here that looking after people is more important than looking after the law, but surely the law is for our good and helps us look after people? Figuring out where to push and where to let people alone is difficult. I get alarmed when people do things that I believe are bad for them, but when I point this out they say I'm being hateful for not supporting them. I suppose this is where intent matters. I just need to be careful that I am not stressed because the people around me aren't doing what I think they should. Matthew seems to have a sub-theme of being a bit more chill around that.
Lord, please help me to discern how to love the world the way You do.