Brother Michel Lankford
Whenever the topic of YHWH’s food Laws and Instructions enters the discussion, most Christians RUN to Mark 7:19, to try and defend the FALSE idea that Messiah allegedly said we could eat anything we wanted. In other words, the idea is that Messiah supposedly suspended the Creator’s Laws and Instructions regarding food. This is a FALSE doctrine that Christians have established by stringing together some Scriptures without their context.
As it is written: since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)” (Mark 7:19, ESV)
Please, I beg and beseech you to look at Mark 7:1-19 IN CONTEXT; before you start spouting Mark 7:19 at me. He was talking about not following Rabbinical hand-washing ceremonies as if they were part of the Law when those rituals were NOT “Commanded” in Scripture. If you look at the whole thing in context, there is ZERO chance that Messiah was putting aside the Torah in Mark 7:19. Look at the whole thing, and not just the part that looks good to you.
Did you notice in the context that Jesus is correcting the Pharisees for setting aside the Commandments of God to keep their own traditions which they invented (Mark 7:9)? They were treating their own rabbinical teaching traditions, AS IF they were part of God’s Law, when in fact their teachings were not legitimately part of the Law of God. By claiming that their rabbinical traditions were part of God’s Law when it’s not, they were violating Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32). The Pharisees were in fact the ones who were breaking the Law at that point.
Please try to look at the claim you are making rationally and dispassionately instead of emotionally for a moment.
Your claim is that in Mark 7:19, Jesus was declaring everything to be clean, and therefore you can eat whatever you choose. If you look at that verse standing by itself, it can certainly APPEAR that way, but if you look at it IN CONTEXT, there is ZERO CHANCE that this is what Jesus was doing. Think about it. Without intending to do so, you accidentally declared Jesus Christ to be a hypocrite and a sinner. Surely, you did not mean to do that.
IF Christians are interpreting Mark 7:19 correctly, and IF Mark 7:19 truly means what most Christians believe that it means, then that is the SAME as saying that Jesus Christ is NOT the Messiah. That is not what Christians are intending to do, but that is effectually what they are doing. Biblically, IF Jesus SET ASIDE God’s food laws in Mark 7:19, that is the SAME as saying that Jesus Christ is not the Messiah.
The Common Theory Does NOT Work, Even If You Are a Dispensationalist
Even if you believe that God’s Standards fundamentally changed from before the cross to after the cross; that is, if you believe that God’s Laws were completed, nailed to the cross, and abolished because Messiah made atonement for sin on the cross, there is still a HUGE problem with applying Mark 7:19 the way that most Christians apply it today. IF Jesus suspended God’s food laws in Mark 7:19 BEFORE making atonement for sin, and BEFORE God’s Law was “nailed to the cross,” that means that Jesus was teaching AGAINST God’s Law BEFORE the cross. IF that WERE true, then Jesus CANNOT be the Messiah, in that case. IF He broke God’s Law, and IF He taught other people to break God’s Law, then He would be guilty of SIN by definition. In such a case, Jesus would NEED a Savior Himself. He could not be the sinless atoning sacrifice for sins, (which He is) IF He broke God’s Law, and IF He taught others to live outside of what YHWH Almighty God had Commanded. IF Jesus broke God’s Law, then He’s not the Savior. He could not be the Messiah in that case. I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty big deal.
- Jesus declared all FOOD to be clean. Jesus DID NOT CHANGE God’s Definition of what FOOD is. He did NOT declare all things to be FOOD. There is a HUGE distinction here, that many Christians ignore.
- Jesus was correcting false rabbinical teaching that was going on at the time. One popular false doctrine of the day was that if you bought FOOD from a gentile, you became automatically unclean, even if you were buying biblically kosher FOOD. That was false teaching. Jesus was teaching that as long as the FOOD is biblically kosher, it’s clean, regardless of whose hand you got it from. He was Not changing or removing God’s Commandments.
Please think about it rationally for a moment. What did Jesus correct the Pharisees for doing in the Chapter?
In Mark chapter 7, Jesus clearly corrected the Pharisees for SETTING ASIDE the Commandments of God, and for KEEPING THEIR own TRADITIONS, instead of keeping God’s WORD and doing what God SAID to do.
So, you are actually telling me that in the very same chapter where Jesus clearly corrected the Pharisees for setting aside the Commandment of God in order to keep their own traditions, Jesus is then going to immediately turn around in Mark 7:19 and literally COMMIT the SAME SIN that He is correcting the Pharisees for doing!?
He corrects the Pharisees for setting aside the Commandments of God, for the sake of keeping their own tradition, and in the same chapter, He then turns around in Mark 7:19, and allegedly sets aside the Commandments of God; (He allegedly sets aside Leviticus 11), and tells people to go ahead and eat whatever you want?! Jesus expressly corrected the Pharisees for setting aside God’s Commandments in order to keep their own traditions, but in the same breath, He then supposedly set aside Leviticus 11, and established new rules?! He himself is going to do things that he said the Pharisees should not do?!
That CAN’T be correct. If Jesus is correcting someone’s behavior, but He commits the SAME misbehavior Himself, that would make Jesus a HYPOCRITE, by any Biblical definition of the term. IF Jesus committed the sin of hypocrisy by committing behavior that He corrected in others, that would mean that Jesus was a HYPOCRITE and a SINNER. If that’s the case, Jesus could not be the sinless atoning sacrifice for our sins. He would NOT be the Messiah, (which He is).
Secondly, IF your misinterpretation of Mark 7:19 is correct, then you have created a much bigger theological problem than you realize. IF your interpretation of Mark 7:19 is true, then you just accidentally accused Jesus Christ of committing several sins.
- IF Jesus spoke against obeying the Torah (Leviticus 11), then He would be cursed (Deuteronomy 27:26).
- IF Jesus changed God’s Word, then God Himself would declare Him to be a LIAR under (Proverbs 30:6, Isaiah 5:20-24; and Isaiah 8:20). Oops, there’s a problem.
- IF Jesus taught people not to obey Leviticus 11, that would make Him a FALSE prophet who should be killed, (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).
- IF Jesus the Messiah taught against obeying biblical kosher food laws in Mark 7:19, then Jesus would be a HYPOCRITE in the context of the rest of what HE said in Mark chapter 7.
- Jesus Would then also be Condemned Under HIS OWN Standards of Judgment. Jesus clearly said that unless our righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and the Pharisees, then we shall by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:20). IF Jesus then turns around and IF Jesus then COPIES and REPEATS the SAME sins that the Pharisees were doing (by setting aside the Commandments of God, and establishing His own traditions in place of what God Commanded people to do), then by Christ’s OWN teachings, Jesus would be CONDEMNED. Jesus, Himself WOULD NOT be going to Heaven under those circumstances and conditions, which HE declared Himself.
It can hardly get more serious than setting up a scenario where the Savior Himself would NOT be SAVED. That is why Mark 7:19 cannot rightly be interpreted and applied the way that most Christians interpret and apply that verse today. There is ZERO possibility that they are correct in applying Mark 7:19 in the manner that they typically do.
It’s not worth denying the Messiah, for bacon’s sake.
Brother Michel Lankford