Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Clean or Unclean?

This is one of my favorite readings in the Lectionary. People often ask where it is that Jesus declared all foods “clean” and this is one of the scriptures. To me, it is the why of it that makes it interesting – and convicting. There is enough in my heart to make me unclean without worrying about food rules.


Matthew 15:1-20


15  Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.’ He answered them, ‘And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?For God said,* “Honour your father and your mother,” and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” But you say that whoever tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is given to God”,* then that person need not honour the father.* So, for the sake of your tradition, you make void the word* of God. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said: 
8 “This people honours me with their lips,
   but their hearts are far from me; 
9 in vain do they worship me,
   teaching human precepts as doctrines.” ’

10  Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, ‘Listen and understand: 11 it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.’ 12 Then the disciples approached and said to him, ‘Do you know that the Pharisees took offence when they heard what you said?’ 13 He answered, ‘Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind.* And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.’ 15 But Peter said to him, ‘Explain this parable to us.’ 16 Then he said, ‘Are you also still without understanding?17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19 For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.’

November 11, 2013 Posted by | Character, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Faith, Food, Lectionary Readings, Spiritual | Leave a comment