Traditions often become more important than a right understanding of God. And tradition can be used as an authority to control others. What makes you right is how you act and what you say, not what traditions may define or dictate. If compassion and goodness come out in you words and actions, as they do with Jesus, then you are clean before God regardless of what the religious leaders of the day may say. Action reveals the heart; a pure heart does pure actions, an unclean heart betrays evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. That is quite a list! There is not a list of goodness because it is a condition of the heart depending upon the circumstances. Goodness knows how to act and does not need a laundry list to check against. That is the failure of religion trying to contain a clean heart with traditional ways to act in goodness. Goodness always finds a fresh way to act, through the spirit with newness of life.
Even outsiders, gentiles and Greeks, see the truth and power of Jesus. An open tongue is to speak plainly; an open ear is to hear the truth. Those who gather to Jesus cannot but help to share the openness of who he is which draws more people to him. But the religious leaders stay “closed” to Jesus. They cannot hear or see except what they want to because, although they act according to tradition, they do not understand the truth. To be open is to live with God in a life moving towards the Kingdom of God, which it truth and peace.