Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fresh Look at Matthew: Matthew 15 continued


Yes, Jesus sounds a little peaved in this chapter, even brutal with the Gentile woman.  That comes from a superficial reading.  The disciples are sort of funny themselves, asking “Don’t you know that the Pharisees are offended by what you said about defilement coming from within rather than from food?” We snarky moderns might say, “Well, duh,” but we forget that these folks were in danger of severe social ostracism from their community. 

Of course, Jesus is not saying anything they shouldn’t have known already.  Proverbs 4:23:  Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it comes the issues of life.”  Don’t be so concerned with food, they will soon learn after the resurrection, whether it’s kosher or eaten with hands ceremonially washed or gluten-free or vegan.  All that is not going to make you walk with God any closer, satisfy your life deeply, or make you happier; it appeals to religious and cultural pride.  Nothing wrong with food restrictions, but they don’t have spiritual significance and good grief, don't inflict them on other people!  Only about 5% of the population is really gluten intolerant, so don't tell me to put down that sandwich.   

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