The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 74

Miracles and Multitudes ~ Part 7

In our last post, we continued the topic entitled Miracles and Multitudes. In this post, we conclude the topic of Miracles and Multitudes.

Defilement Contrasted

14 Then Yeshua called the people to him again and said, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand this! 15 There is nothing outside a person which, by going into him, can make him unclean. Rather, it is the things that come out of a person which makes a person unclean!” [1] 12 The talmidim came to him and said, “Do you know that the P’rushim were offended by what you said?” 13 He replied, “Every plant that my Father in heaven has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Let them be. They are blind guides. When a blind man guides another blind man, both will fall in a pit.” 15 Kefa said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 So He said, “Don’t you understand even now? [2] Don’t you see that nothing going into a person from outside can make him unclean? 19 For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and it passes out into the latrine.” (Thus, He declared all foods ritually clean.)

This last parenthetical phrase has been highly controversial. David H. Stern opines:

Thus He declared all foods ritually clean, even if the participants at the meal had not washed their hands. But Yeshua did not, as many suppose, abolish the laws of kashrut and thus declare ham kosher! Since the beginning of the chapter, the subject has been ritual purity as taught by the Oral Torah concerning n’tilat-yadayim (ritual handwashing) and not kashrut at all! There is not the slightest hint anywhere that foods in this verse can be anything other than what the Bible allows Jews to eat: kosher foods. Neither is kashrut abolished in Acts 10:9–28 or Galatians 2:11–16.

Instead, Yeshua continues His discussion of spiritual prioritizing (Korban in v. 11). He teaches that tohar (purity) is not primarily ritual or physical but spiritual (vv. 14–23). On this ground, He does not entirely overrule the Pharisaic/rabbinic elaborations of the laws of purity, but He does demote them to subsidiary importance. Yeshua here is making Messianic halakhah (Oral Torah).

Declaring all foods clean. These words are not part of the quotation but are Mark’s interpretation of Yeshua’s statement. They link this story and the account of the Syrophoenician woman that follows (Mark 7:24–30).[3]

20 “It is what comes out of a person,” he went on, “that makes him unclean. 21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come forth wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance, foolishness.… 23 All these wicked things come from within, and they make a person unclean.” [4]

After this, Yeshua traveled around in the Galil, intentionally avoiding Y’hudah because the Judeans were out to kill Him.[5]

In our next post, we will examine Yeshua’s Extensive Ministry Throughout the Galil.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Mark 7:14–15.

[2] Mattityahu 15:12–16.

[3] Faithlife Study Bible: Mark 7:19.

[4] Mark 7:18–23.

[5] Yochanan 7:1.

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