Not what we eat, and who does the hoovering!
Our gospel reading today is, in many ways, all about rules and regulations. This is the way we do it – have always done it, this is what the Bible teaches us, what our history tells us.
One of the things that fascinates me are Christians who say the Bible is the Word of God and Revelation ended with the last full stop of Revelation, and yet then declare that God in the Spirit has led or told them this or that.
THEE Word of God is Jesus and through and by The Holy Spirit He does still reveal Himself and His desire and plans. Of course, that guiding Spirit has to be tested against the teaching of Jesus.
SO, support for movements, be they faith or political needs to be referenced to Jesus teaching.
The Gospel starts with Pharisaic rules and regulations – these came not from the Law of Moses, but from the Oral Law, Mishnah, written down much later but which seems for many in authority to have taken precedence over 10 Commandments. We need to check that our manmade traditions are not more important that God’s Word in Jesus.
The Pharisees believed that food defiled the individual, both here and in in Acts when the sheet is lowered down for Peter to eat three times Jesus reminds us that what pollutes any human is not the food which touches not the heart, nor remains in the bowel which the Jews referenced as the heart, the centre of emotion and belief, but passes through.
What pollutes us as people are thoughts the things that come from within us as people. The ideas and ideologies we allow to guide direct and pollute us. Washing hands may prevent us being physically ill but won’t stop us being spiritually ill! Indeed, for the Pharisees it was a symbolic ritual washing that was the rule!
There may not seem to be a link to the Samaritan woman, but actually there is.
When she first comes to Jesus she comes as she would have expected a Jew to come. She comes with formula ‘Son of David’ she comes not a she but as she expects Jesus to want her to come.
The dogs Jesus refers too are not the same as the dogs the Jewish authorities called the Gentiles. They