We have moved to www.martinamcgowan.com

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Leviticus 15-16:28; Mark 7:1-23; Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 10:13-14 (New Living Translation)

Old Testament

1. Bodily discharges (Yuck)

- Stay away from the man with the discharge. Sounds like perfectly reasonable advice;)

- Semen, sex and menstrual periods.

- For menstrual periods, women were ceremonially unclean while they were menstruating and for 7 days after. Then they had to make a sacrifice. Was this after each period?

- Later in the New Testament we have all read or heard the story of the woman with the "issue of blood." Basically she had been bleeding for 12 years. she was therefore never clean enough to go into the temple to worship. That is why she sought healing.

2. The Day of Atonement

- Atonement-definition- reparation for an offense or injury; the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

- Day of Atonement- definition- also Yom Kippur; a Jewish holiday observed with fasting and prayer in accordance with the rites described in Leviticus

3. Aaron is given instruction regarding entering the Most Holy place, purification of himself, his family, the people. Purification of the altar. Confessing over and passing sin on to the scapegoat.

4. Scapegoat- definition- a goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur; one that bears the blame for others.

5. Purification of himself and the people to make them right with the Lord.

New Testament

Amazingly, Jesus is teaching about inner purity today. I think it's amazing that the readings link together so well most days...

6. The Pharisees think they have found an opening or weakness in Jesus' teaching because His disciples don't follow the age-old traditions. Jesus' answer of course is that it is not outward appearances, but the heart that defiles us! Man-made traditions will not bring us closer to God.

7. It is the heart!

- "And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”

- We sin in our hearts first!

8. This brings up two questions / issues for me?

- Are we really any different than the Pharisees?

- What really matters to God?

- Institutional and authoritarian religions push their own agenda, which is about your relationship with the religious system, or building, or a specific group of people.

- Your relationship, says "religion" is a legal religious entity based on law. It's these laws, rules and regulations they try to tell us are the same as God's laws. Is this any different than the argument being put forth by the Pharisees?

- But if we carefully look at the New Testament we see a dramatically dufferent picture.

- We see a personal relationship with God given to us by the boundless riches of His grace! An intimate relationship with God not mediated by power structures or authoritarian dogma...but mediated solely by Jesus-God-in-the-Flesh!

- What matters to God, according to the bible, is your relationship with God, based on His amazing grace.

- As Jesus is trying to tell the Pharisees and His disciple, submitting to prohibitions may make us feel and look holy and righteous- voluntary piety and ritualistic posturing. This may make a favorable impression on the world, to humans.

- Is this what Jesus died for?

- Have we gone back to a life of bondage to religion?

- If we are alive in Christ- why not live?

- Are we not free in Christ?

- Being, not doing is what matters to God. Performing tasks does not dictate our value to God.

- God loves us based on our being...Who we are in Christ...What God does in us...That is what matters.


9. "You are my helper and my savior"


10. "Wise people treasure knowledge"

See you next post...

No comments: