Passage: Leviticus 11:1–:47
Leviticus 11:1-47/Mark 7:14-23
Point # 1 The Old Covenant food laws expressed an understanding of Israel’s special status as the elect, holy people of God. The division into clean, edible foods and unclean, inedible foods correspond to the division between holy Israel and the Gentile world (Lev. 11).
Point # 2 In contrast to the traditions of men, and even the Law of Moses, Jesus is the ultimate revealer of God (Mark 7:19b).
Point # 3 Our hearts are defiled, and produce defiled works. That means we are defiled and need Jesus to purify us (Mark 7:14-23).
Summary of Old Testament Food Regulations:
1. Split-hoofed, cud-chewing land animals (e. g., sheep and cattle) may be eaten. Other mammals are unclean (e. g., pigs and camels) and may not be eaten (vv. 2–8).
2. Only fish with fins and scales may be eaten (vv. 9–12).
3. Certain named birds (probably birds of prey) may not be eaten (vv. 13–19).
4. Flying insects may not be eaten, but hopping insects are edible (vv. 20–23).
5. Touching the carcass of an unclean animal makes a person unclean. They must wash themselves (vv. 24–28).
6. Other “swarming” animals, such as mice and lizards, are also unclean. If they are found dead inside a vessel, the vessel becomes unclean and must be destroyed or purified (vv. 29–43).
7. Clean animals that die of natural causes become unclean, unfit to eat and a source of pollution (vv. 39–40)
The Israelites reflect the holiness of God, who brought them out of Egypt, by obeying these divine regulations and distinguishing between unclean and clean creatures (11:44–47).
More in Leviticus
November 24, 2013The Day of Atonement: Ineffectual and Temporary
November 10, 2013"Blood and Faith"
August 4, 2013Delighting in Leviticus: Instructions for the Priests