Jesus was speaking to those who are his enemies, the Pharisees and scribes who looked at each turn to find fault with him. Jesus had undertaken a preaching tour in Galilee, touched and healed lepers, brought a dead girl to life, healed a hemorrhaging woman and went outside their regions to perform the same miracles for others. According to tradition, this made Jesus unclean and unfit.
I remember hearing of a tradition that held its piety for many in the congregation. At communion, after the words of institution, the pastor would turn and touch a brass cross that was placed on a shelf directly behind the altar. Communion was then served by table. Each time the pastor returned to the altar he retouched the cross before communing the next table. The congregation considered that this connected them with Christ through the cross. After a visiting pastor did not include this in the sacramental practice, they approached their pastor about it. They were told that the reason he touched the cross was to eliminate static! If he didn’t, the first in line to receive the holy supper would be shocked.
Lord, help us to look past what we do, to find out what can be. Amen. — RS