Jesus did not let silly rules stand in the way of our being kind.

Thursday, 9’17/15

In the Gospel Jesus reclined in quiet as a woman identified as being sinful bathed his feet with her tears. The Pharisee who was Our Lord’s host said to himself, if Jesus were a prophet he would know that the woman touching him is unclean.

We shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that the woman was a prostitute. She might just have been a person who did not keep all the kosher rules.

The basic Jewish kosher rules came from Chapter Eleven of Leviticus that forbade their eating pork and shellfish. Knowing that without refrigeration those foods could bring on food poisoning, to protect the health of a very religious people, Moses made it part of their religion.

 Then, around the year 450 b.c. Jerusalem took on the Mosaic Law as the people’s civil law; but to bring the rules up to date, they began accepting amendments to what the Bible forbade. That was fine, but in the following centuries those amendments became so numerous, that only religious professions  could keep up with them all.

It got more difficult when they decided that anyone who did not observe all the amendments, known as the Mishnah, was considered unclean. And, if that wasn’t enough, it was decreed that anyone who touched a so-called  unclean person became unclean.

Jesus considered that to be ridiculous, and in so doing, he was telling us not to let the fine print stand in the way of our being kind.

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