Don't twist scripture, Rev Dick
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Although I enjoyed reading the Rev Devon Dick's article, 'Jesus offers salvation' (Gleaner, Thursday, April 2, 2014), I did not share his views that Jesus made all foods clean. You cannot use one verse from the Bible to come to such a major conclusion that conflicts with God's direct instructions to man.
If Jesus had made all foods clean, why then did Peter, a close disciple of Jesus, still believe, after Jesus' death, that meats were still classified as clean and unclean? (See Acts 10:9-15, 28.) The Bible points us to how it should be studied and, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, be interpreted.
To understand the words spoken by Jesus in Mark 7:19, you have to start reading from the first verse of Mark 7. The issue was not about clean or unclean foods, as His Jewish audience were strict adherents to the Levitical food laws, but on one of the traditions of the Jews. A person would be deemed defiled if they ate food with unwashed hands and/or if the utensils used were not washed in a certain way.
Jesus then made a statement in verse 15 that there was nothing from without that entering into a man can defile him, only the things that come out of him. He then further explained in verse 19 that what we eat passes through our belly and is passed out, purging all meats. In other words, the digestive process works on the food we eat to make it acceptable to the body, and what is not needed by the body is passed out.
What does defile us comes from within our hearts - evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, etc.