Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fresh look at Matthew: Matthew 15:1-20

--> Sometimes in reading Matthew it seems that Jesus’ responses are impromptu, arising from the moment rather than planned from the foundation of the world, as we Calvinists are taught.  The Pharisees attack him for not teaching or “making” the disciples ceremonially wash their hands before eating, therefore “the food is defiled.”  No, says Jesus, you have it backward and therefore very wrong.  What comes out of your heart and mouth defiles you, not what goes into your gut and then the toilet.  The Bible is very clear that there is no “unintentional speech” or at least no sourceless speech.  It comes from somewhere.  Sometimes my subconscious seem to be speaking and writing more than my conscious mind, but it’s coming from the deep storehouse of the heart and soul, and it got into there somehow.  Or it stays there, nurtured in the damp festering environment and getting stronger and bigger, rather then uprooted.  Jesus seems to cajole Peter for asking what the parable means, although I don’t really see a parable in the first place, but a forthright answer to the Pharisees..  The passage Matthew 15:1-20 shows that Jesus was not always “nice” with a soft answer.  That doesn’t free us to speak unkindly, but it does remind us that truthful communication is not always tempered.    

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