If you weren’t itching before today’s reading…….

7 03 2011

DAY SIXTY-FOUR : Leviticus 13 v. 1 – 59; Mark 12 v. 28 – 44; Proverbs 6 v. 20 – 29

The talk in the next couple of chapters of Leviticus is about skin diseases – support for Leprosy Mission came to mind, and I commend their website to you – www.leprosymission.org.uk, where amongst other things, they’ve some really good Lent study / reflections, if you are still looking for something additional to do from this Wednesday onwards.

Infectious Skin Diseases – wow, how I’m glad times have changed. The sick came to be diagnosed by the priests, not the doctors – is this disease infectious or not, does it render the person unclean or clean? There are skin diseases and diseases involving the hair and the scalp. What great depth and care is taken to isolate infection from the ‘camp’. Verses 45 and 46, where the individual is to proclaim themselves unclean by wearing torn clothes and by shouting out “unclean, unclean”, is to protect the community from the spread of infections.

I found myself thinking about the crowds of sick and ‘unclean’ people who flocked to Jesus for His healing and acceptance, maybe after years of being cast out of their communities.

Mildew – there’s also, then, the issue of garments that become infected and how to wash them or destroy them. The instructions are clear, and again, they are to protect the community from the spread of disease.

following the traps being set by the Pharisees and the Sadducees yesterday, Jesus is more on the offensive today !this picture of ‘The Widow” by Louis Glanzman is part of a collection of pictures of Women from the Bible, used to illustrate a book called ‘Soul Sisters’ (there are also images of Men from the Bible under ‘Soul Brothers’). Check out his website, www.louisglanzman.com.

Greatest Commandment –
there is a seemingly sincere question asked, seeking the heart of Jesus’ teaching, and Jesus says it’s all about devotion to God, complete and perfect love of God (heart and soul, mind and strength), and love of neighbour, and love of self. The law-teacher affirms Jesus’ reply, and shares His belief that ‘to love….is more important that all burnt offerings and sacrifices’.
Jesus rewards the law-teacher’s affirmation (surrounded by Pharisees and others who are simply out to trap Him) by proclaiming that “You are not far from the kingdom of God”. Clearly, Jesus has found one more soul with ‘ears to hear’, but I guess others would have found such a proclamation offensive….

The Christ – then we have Jesus on the offensive, within the temple, warning people about the law-teachers and their ways – He’s going off on one !! Firstly, they misunderstand who the Christ is to be – not merely a Son of David, but a Lordship which will mean much more than that. Then they are condemned for the way they flounce around in fancy robes, like to be honoured and seen as important, and ‘devour widows houses’ (which must indicate that they are taking advantage of others). They will get their comeuppance.

The Widow – on the other hand the widow (whose house is devoured in v. 40) is prepared to give God everything she has. It’s a teaching moment for the disciples, lest they mock the poverty of her giving :
“This poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on”.The contrast between the law-teachers and the widow’s offering couldn’t be greater, and though God may not call us to give up everything we have to live on, He desires that spirit of generous, sacrificial giving (like Christ’s Himself, who gave up everything) for us all.

“My son, keep your father’s commands, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
 Bind them upon your heart for ever; fasten them around your neck. 
 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you;
 when you awake, they will speak to you.
 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light,
 and the corrections of discipline are the way to life….”




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: