Saturday, January 31, 2009

Arise and Repent, Oh Ye Sinful Hens!

I am going on four hours of studying the cultural, historical, and literary contexts of the New Testament, and although I am thoroughly enjoying learning, I am beginning to get a little bit delirious. Fortunately, chapter 3 in my textbook is ending strong with some comic relief.

Here are some excerpts from chapter 3 regarding the Jewish Pharisees' scrupulous observance of the Mosaic and rabbinic law:

"Some rabbis in the Pharisaical tradition forbade spitting on the bare ground during the Sabbath lest the action disturb the dirt and thus constitute plowing, which would break the prohibition of working on the Sabbath."

"A woman should not look in the mirror on the Sabbath lest she see a gray hair, be tempted to pluck it out, yield to the temptation, and thereby work on the Sabbath."

"It became a moot question whether one might lawfully eat an egg laid on a festival day. Were such eggs tainted even though hens lack an awareness of festival days?"

No wonder these guys had problems with Jesus. After all the effort and energy they poured into observing their plowing, plucking, and egg-laying laws, Jesus had the audacity to tell them they were like white-washed tombs. Then he asked them to stop obsessing over their appearance and challenged them instead to, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" (Matthew 22:37)

It makes me wonder, what "plowing", "plucking", and "egg-laying" ideals have distracted me from loving Jesus with all my heart, soul and mind lately?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing that Sarah, I think I'll mention it to my high school/college fellowship at church....they might get a kick out of it ;)

    It truly is sad, though, because the Pharisees and Saducees represent the general population today which may "believe" in God but has no interest in glorifying or serving Him.