Clean and unclean in Old Testament and New Testament.
OT tells how you need to clean yourself up, third and seventh day washings, a week’s worth of uncleanliness or a night’s worth. NT makes mention of washing up before eating. Mentions of rituals and procedure. Jesus cuts to the core by quoting scripture from Isaiah:
5 So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”
6 Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
7 Their worship is a farce,
for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’
8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” Mark 7:5-8 NLT
He’s looking beneath the skin. He goes straight to the heart.
In Numbers, I draw a big circle. It is labeled Tabernacle. God tells Aaron what’s required of caring for the Tabernacle, and who will help him–people God picked himself.
5 “You yourselves must perform the sacred duties inside the sanctuary and at the altar. If you follow these instructions, the Lord’s anger will never again blaze against the people of Israel. 6 I myself have chosen your fellow Levites from among the Israelites to be your special assistants. They are a gift to you, dedicated to the Lord for service in the Tabernacle. 7 But you and your sons, the priests, must personally handle all the priestly rituals associated with the altar and with everything behind the inner curtain. I am giving you the priesthood as your special privilege of service. Any unauthorized person who comes too near the sanctuary will be put to death.” Numbers 18:5-7 NLT, emphasis mine.
Inside the big circle, I add a smaller one at the core. The very heart. A priesthood.
And maybe it’s a stretch, but I see a parallel. A big circle of community, of people God puts in a lifetime’s context–but at the core is one heart. One heart that works out the faith. That place in all of us Jesus is most concerned with.
Lord, bind this wandering heart to you.
29 Be sure to give to the Lord the best portions of the gifts given to you. Numbers 18:29 NLT.