It is so unfortunate that so many people on both sides have boiled this brilliant teaching down to a debate about foods being clean, and what counts as food, or even as being about food at all. It isn’t about food! This teaching begins a new phase in the ministry of the Messiah, as He is about to venture out into Gentile lands and must confront the over the top purity standards that would make it impossible for the Gospel to go forth out of Zion to the ends of the world.
Although popular in some circles, the Book of Jubilees is both a mathematical nightmare and what would amount to a comedy of errors if it was funny. That being said, it opens a vitally important window into the ways that Jews in the early years of Hasmonean rule were looking at the Gentiles and allows us a glimpse of what mindsets led to the later development of the differing sects within Judaism. Without this understanding, it is easy to make Mark 7:1-13 to be entirely about food instead of what it was really about--the ability of the Jewish believers in Yeshua/Jesus to take the Gospel into the Gentile world in fulfillment of the words of the Psalmists and the Prophets.
Last year for Hannukah, we talked about the oppressive “traditions of men” vs ordinary traditions that Yeshua/Jesus spoke of in light of the Feast of Dedication mentioned in John 10. This year I am delving deep into the scholarly materials to explore the Zadokite controversy—which purports that the Hasmoneans were illegitimate priests and which has been used to discredit Hannukah. I will also go into the works of Josephus and Megillat Ta'anit to try and figure out where the legend of the “miracle of the oil” came from.
People often claim that Yeshua/Jesus never claimed to be Messiah, or Divine. People are wrong. What can’t be had from a casual reading of some of Scripture is evident from an in-depth knowledge of the whole of Scripture and the claims that Yahweh makes about Himself through His prophets. Last week and this week especially, we cover blatant claims and proof that Yeshua is the one unique Son of God with authority that is not explicable in any other way.