There is such a valuable lesson for us to learn here.  Let’s read the words of the Lord in Mark 7:9-10, “And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death.”

The Lord Jesus is here disputing with the Pharisees, exposing their unfaithfulness and hypocrisy.  Under the Old Testament law, honor for one’s mother and father was commanded.  To show this, the Lord quotes Exodus 20:12 and 21:17.  Some might not honor their parents.  Some might go so far as to curse their parents.  A long life was promised to those who showed honor, but death was given to those who cursed their parents.  The Pharisees had twisted this truth for their own use.

Now, let’s read verses 11-13, “But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

Notice the Lord is showing the difference between what Moses said and what the Pharisees say.  The word Corbin means ‘a gift, or more literally, a gift given to God.’  In this instance it refers to a son who, under the teaching and leadership of the Pharisees, could declare all his possessions as Corbin, or a gift to God.  Under the law, a vow made to God could not be broken as we read in Numbers 30:2, “If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; HE SHALL NOT BREAK HIS WORD, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.”  Since all his possessions have been rendered as a gift to God, his property and money could only be used in service to the Lord and therefore, could not be given to his parents to help them financially.  Even though the son might be able to help his aging parents with their needs, he had declared all his possessions as a gift to the Lord and thus not help his parents at all. 

The Lord Jesus condemned this practice and showed how they made ‘the word of God of none effect’, or ‘cancelled out’ the Lord’s command to honor their parents by this selfish practice. 

My dear reader, how we need to remain cautious against those so-called leaders who would take the truth of the Word of God and twist it to fit their own interests.  The Lord had told them bluntly in Mark 7:9, “Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”  The Lord also said in Matthew 15:9, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”  May we be faithful to imitate the believers in Berea who “…received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11).  (CC)  (499.2)