It’s always a challenge to determine if we do what we do because we’ve always done it that way before, or we’re doing it because we’re obeying God’s Word. The Christian church has always struggled with that, and the Pharisees did too. Here Jesus chastises them because they are concerned about keeping their traditions to the point that they ignore what the Bible says. They claimed that if someone dedicated their resources to God that they didn’t have to use it to help out their parents, where Scripture is very clear that we are to honor our parents.
Jesus continues with a parable that the Pharisees believe is about them, and they are right! Their tradition teaches that eating with unwashed hands is wrong, but Jesus says that it won’t defile them. What defiles comes out of the heart: evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony and slander. If their hearts were in the right place, they’d understand and teach that. He flat out says that the Pharisees are blind guides that shouldn’t be listened to! And that is our take away from the passage. How do we guard our hearts and keep from sin? We don’t listen to blind guides! We listen to teachers who are true to the Word of God.