LEVITICUS 11:1-12:8 | MARK 5:21-43 | PSALM 38:1-22 | PROVERBS 10:8-9
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“‘These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the ground. 47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’”
And so ends Chapter 11 of the Book of Leviticus.
There were regulations galore to ensure that you ate that which was “clean”. It is these list of dietary restrictions which are to this day observed by the Jewish people by the term “kosher”.
But two thousand years ago, there was another Jewish man who had walked the face of this earth who hadn’t observed many of these laws on what to eat and what not to eat, and outraged the religious leaders of the day. Not only did he not seem to pay too much attention to these laws, but he seemed to further violate the law by dining with the most unclean people of the day.
The laws of Moses were also quite clear about the treatment toward women on the matter of observing certain rules regarding childbirth and women’s issues. These were also strictly observed by every circumspect Jewish man and woman. Only, there was this same man Jesus who seemed not to care at all about coming into contact with a woman who was unclean in the manner of that description.
And not only did he not care one bit about becoming defiled or unclean but he made a point of speaking to such a woman in the most compassionate manner. He said to the woman whose great faith in touching Jesus’ garments had healed her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Can you imagine the stories that this woman might have had to tell for the rest of her life?
Continuing in our reading in Mark, we see that Jesus’ ministry among the people continues with miracles such as these—miracles that first and foremost are supernatural acts of healing—acts that are in clear violation of laws that every good Jewish man and woman has ever been taught. Just who did he think he was? The Son of God?!
Well, I suppose he could make that claim especially since he could also do things like raising people from the dead—an act that had never been done before and has certainly never been duplicated since. But apparently this little fact must not have impressed them too much.
The Psalm for today is another one in which David doesn’t hesitate to bare his soul to God in one of his weaker moments. He says:
21 LORD, do not forsake me;
do not be far from me, my God.
22 Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my Savior.
And finally, two verses from the Book of Proverbs, authored by Solomon, wise king of Israel, worthy of record and rumination:
8 The wise in heart accept commands,
but a chattering fool comes to ruin.
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word. Amen.