It Matters

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Colleen and her friend, Marlene were having their regular morning Bible study in the lounge area at the office.  Colleen was reading.

“For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.  In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.”

“Wait a minute.  Where does it say that Jesus declared all foods clean?”

“Right here,” she showed her.  It was Mark 7:19.

“Which Bible version is this?”

“The NIV.  What’s yours?”

“The New King James version.  You have to be very careful which version you read.  Jesus wasn’t declaring that all foods are clean.  He wasn’t even talking about diet.  The problem wasn’t what the disciples were eating but that they were eating without having washed their hands first.  The religious leaders didn’t eat unless they give their hands the traditional ceremonial washing which was passed down by the elders.  When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash.  And they also make sure that their cups, pitchers and kettles are washed.”

“What’s wrong with washing your hands before you eat or washing the things you eat and drink out of?”

“Nothing is wrong with that.  That’s what we do nowadays for hygiene but Jesus wanted them to know that eating with unwashed hands didn’t make a person unclean.  He wasn’t talking about eating unclean food like pork, seafood, etc but that eating clean food with unwashed wasn’t what defiled a person.  The religious leaders were so fixated on their traditions that they neglected what was really important.  God would rather have people with unwashed hands who worship Him with their hearts than to have people with washed hands whose hearts are far from Him.  They put their traditions above God’s commandments.”

“But Jesus is saying that it isn’t what goes into a man that defiles him but what goes out.  So, doesn’t that mean that eating Pork and seafood isn’t the problem?”

“The issue here isn’t about what they were eating but washing their hands before they ate.  If they had been eating pork, seafood or other unclean food, then the Pharisees would have objected.”

“But what about Acts 10 when Jesus told Peter in a vision to get up, kill and eat?”

“The things Peter saw in the vision were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.  And Peter’s response was say no because he had never eaten anything common or unclean.  This vision wasn’t about food, it was about people–the Gentiles whom the Jews consider to be unclean.  That’s why Jesus’ reply was that Peter shouldn’t call what God has cleansed common.”

“So, doesn’t this mean that Jesus cleansed all food when He was here on earth?”

“No.  Again, this vision has nothing to do with diet.  It was about Gentiles.  Peter got this vision before men went to him to summon him to the house of a Gentile named Cornelius.  Cornelius was an Italian centurion who worshipped God but he didn’t know about Jesus.  Peter knew afterwards that his vision didn’t have anything to do with food because he said that But God had shown him that he should not call any man common or unclean.  So, going back to Mark 7, the Jews had a tradition which required that hands should be ceremonially washed after each contact with a Gentile.  They criticized Jesus and His disciples for not following this custom.  So, in response, Jesus  told them that it was not what went into a man’s mouth which defiled him but what comes out of his mouth.  Then He names the things which defile people like evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, murder, theft, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolishness.  When a person eats, the food doesn’t enter the heart but the stomach where it’s digested.  It’s what is comes out of a person’s heart which defiles a person, making them spiritually unclean.  God is more interested in a person’s heart condition than the condition of their hands.”

Colleen scratched her head.  “I thought the biblical health laws were just for the Jews.”

“They were around since Noah.  That’s why the clean animals were brought into the ark by sevens and the unclean by twos.  It’s obvious that the clean animals and birds would be eaten because there would be a shortage of vegetation after the flood.”

“But didn’t God say to Noah that every moving thing that lives shall be food for you?”

“Every moving thing would include snakes, rats, bats, alligators, lizards, worms and cockroaches.  Would you eat any of those?”

Colleen shuddered.  “It’s eating some of those things that we have the Coronavirus wreaking havoc now.”

“The Bible teaches us that Jesus and the Father are One.  So, if the Father says that we shouldn’t eat certain things then, Jesus wouldn’t say anything contrary to that.  Your Bible is incorrect when it says that He declared all foods to be clean.  And as for pork, it is unhealthy because pigs are scavengers and who would want to eat meat from animal in which Jesus had cast 2000 demons into?”

Colleen sighed.  “I love ham.  I can’t imagine not having it, especially at Christmas time.”

“I used to eat pork products and seafood until a friend lent me a copy of God’s Free Health Plan.  I’m now a vegetarian.”

“May I borrow that book?”

“Sure.  I’ll bring it tomorrow.”

“I don’t want to become a vegetarian, though.  I love my chicken.”

“Well, at least chicken is a clean meat.”

“Do you have an extra Bible?  I won’t be using this one anymore.”

 

When it comes to reading the Bible, it matters which version you use.

 

Sources:  Bible Gateway; Amazing Facts

 

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