I was reading Matthew 15 the other day and something really got to me. We as Christians like to give the Pharisees a hard time, as if we think that our hypocrisy is in no way related to theirs, if we even see any hypocrisy in ourselves to begin with. In this chapter, the Pharisees are giving Jesus a hard time for not washing his hands before eating and Jesus' reply to them reveals their true hypocrisy. It follows (v. 3-6):
"And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, "Honor your father and your mother,' and, "Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' But you say, "If anyone tells his father or his mother, "What you would have gained from me is given to God," he need not honor his father.' So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God."
To focus on verse 5, "What you would have gained from me is given to God." Here Jesus is pointing out their hypocrisy in not honoring their father and mother by giving their due services to God, instead of their parents. If anyone was to say "Corban" or "it is Corban, that which they say "Corban" over is then devoted to God and could not be used for any other purpose.
I guess you could say it was more of a cop out of serving their parents by devoting that which their parents asked to God. To them, they justify it, for it is better to give to God than to our own parents, right? Wrong. For God does not care what we bring, but by the motive by which we bring it. Honoring our parents, after all, is the only commandment that comes with a promise.
How many times have I done this, have you done this? It may have been in the form of someone seeking help, but instead of helping, we say "I'll pray for you", as if to pass off a good work and justify it by considering prayer "spiritual", and therefore can't be wrong. Or instead of going out and sharing the Gospel or whatever else you may feel lead, you decide to stay home and read your Bible or pray, as if disobedience to God's voice is justified by spending time with Him. But are we praying for this person or reading the Bible to get to know Jesus better, or because our real motive is to get out of what He had originally called us to do?
I can think of countless times someone has needed my assistance and I write off as "I'll pray for you." I'm not saying you have to help every single person that calls your assistance, but when the Spirit leads us to do so, don't cop out of it! So no, it is not Corban! A service is not devoted to God by words but by motive of the heart. So next time you feel the Spirit leading you to do something you don't want to do, don't say "Corban", say "yes"