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Yisra’el has a long history of forgetting what makes people “holy,” what makes them “clean” to approach the Presence of the Name. The LORD does that; the person doesn’t make himself or herself holy. It’s also often been lost that being declared tamé (“unclean”) doesn’t make one sinful or wicked either. Understanding the parable of “clean” and “unclean” is key to understanding Yeshua’s instructions on hand-washing in Mark 7 and Peter’s vision of unclean meats in Acts 10.
Yeshua’s frequently argued with the Pharisees over their emphasis on their man-made traditions over the plain word of scripture and how their man-made traditions were doing more to keep people away from God than bringing them into God’s embrace.
Even after Yeshua’s death and resurrection, these false ideas about the inherent holiness of the Jewish people and the inherent wickedness of the Gentiles was hindering God’s goal to lift up, bring near, make clean and declare holy believers from the nations in the same way Heaven does for the “native-born.”
Continue reading Leviticus 9-11; Mark 7; Acts 10: Become clean and holy from the inside out
In our joy to come into close relationship with the Creator, we may forget to have respect of Who He is. One of the lessons of this week’s Torah reading, שמיני Shemini (“eighth”), covering Lev. 9:1–11:47, is remembering how to discern what God has set apart — cleaned up — from what isn’t. That’s behind the object lesson of clean and unclean foods, and put into sharp focus in Acts 10.
Continue reading Parashat Shemini (שמיני): Leviticus 9–11
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Because of God’s grace, we can enter God’s presence “boldly” because the perfection of Yeshua the Mashiakh (Jesus the Christ) has covered our “uncleanness.” The distinction between “clean” and “unclean” is powerfully presented by the tragic events of Leviticus 9-10 and the parable of allowable foods in Leviticus 11.
The Torah reading שּׁמיני Shemini (“eighth,” Leviticus 9–11) illustrates the pervasive problem of being internally “unclean” and approaching God presumptuously while so. Yeshua warned against that in the parable of the wedding garment and the recorded confrontation over paying Roman taxes (Matt. 22:2–21).
Continue reading Leviticus 9–11: Confidently entering God’s presence with reverence