It Is Corban
“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.”
The Pharisees had several traditions they pushed for the sake of people keeping them in high regard. One of those traditions was that a child was justified for dishonoring their parents if they used Corban as their excuse. Corban was a Pharisaical tradition the Pharisees used to benefit themselves. It was a tradition that directly contradicted the Scriptures, but it was justified because they used their “spirituality” as their excuse to dishonor their parents.
There is never an excuse to dishonor your parents. Jesus made it clear that the command to honor your parents is a command to be followed no matter what your parents were like. Jesus derided the Pharisees for this unscriptural tradition of Corban because it made God’s Word of “none effect.” Sadly, many in this present generation seem to practice the same unscriptural tradition of Corban that the Pharisees practiced. Though nobody verbally says they are dishonoring their parents because of Corban, they have justified the dishonoring of their parents by using religion and beliefs as their excuse to dishonor them. Let me point out several observations about God’s command to honor your parents.
First, honoring your parents has nothing to do with their performance as a parent. God never said that you should honor them because they were good parents. No; He just commanded you to honor them. Many feel they have the right to dishonor their parents because they feel their parents didn’t parent them right. If the only time a child honors their parents was if their parents were good parents, no child would ever honor their parents because every parent has some shortcomings because of sin. The command to honor your parents is not about their performance, but it is all about honoring them because of their position as your authority.
Second, honoring your parents doesn’t stop because you have become an adult. The command to honor your parents is a lifelong command. God knew that you would have a different opinion than your parents when you became an adult, but that didn’t stop Him from giving the command to honor your parents. Just because you are now a parent and think you know more than your parents doesn’t give you a spiritual right to dishonor them.
Third, the discovery of your parent’s indiscretions doesn’t give you a right to dishonor them. Always remember that one day your children may discover your sins, and how you honor your parents when you discover their shortcomings will teach your children how to honor you when they discover yours. It is sad when you treat others who have greater shortcomings with greater respect than you do your own parents. My friend, you are going to discover your parent’s shortcomings one day, but don’t let the discovery keep you from honoring them.
Fourth, honoring your parents is not a command to only honor them when it benefits you. The exact reason Corban was used was to have an excuse to dishonor one’s parents when it didn’t benefit them. The greatest test of how you honor your parents is when honoring them is of no benefit to you. Let me encourage you to stop using your parents as a tool to promote yourself only when it benefits you; rather, obey God and honor them at all times.