I have always had a love for this Gospel narrative, but it is a love that has become more firmly rooted and grown greater with further exploration and its paired lectionary scriptures this morning.
The Gospel begins with Jesus teaching a lesson that was essential in the biblical Ancient Near East (ANE), but it remains essential in our own time and place as highlighted with the current social unrest regarding the worth of human life despite race, ethnicity, or nationality; age; gender, gender identity, or sexuality; socio-economics; political affiliations; religious adherence or lack thereof; or otherwise.
Jesus teaches that it is not about adhering to a purity code concerned with the food one consumes, their personal hygiene practiced, or who one has interactions.
But, with that said, please continue to practice personal hygiene, social distancing, and other COVID19 precautions.
Jesus teaches, instead, that one is defiled or “unclean” through the sins rooted in our heart such as:
- manipulation and evil intentions;
- causing harm to one in mind, body, or soul;
- being lustful or unfaithful;
- desiring or taking what belongs to another; and
- speaking falsely.
Although included in the Ten Commandments, these are not included in the purity code.
Immediately afterwards, Jesus seemingly flirts with not practicing what he preaches. Read the rest of this entry »