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Washing hands

Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8 / James 1:17-18,21-22,27 / Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23
As Jesus was going about His work of healing, a team of Pharisees and Scribes gang up to pose Him an accusatory question. The Pharisees were a movement of Jews that sought to restore God’s favour to Israel by a kind of strict observance of the Law and total separation from Gentile defilement. And Scribes were not just copyists but scholars of the Law, and these in the gospel, from Jerusalem, held special authority. They were all scandalised by how the disciples of Jesus ate their meals.
The phrase used in the gospel is literally “eat their breads”. There is probably an allusion here to the miracle of multiplication of loaves and thus the eating of bread in the wilderness without following the cleansing rituals the Pharisees advocated.
Let us be clear here. This is not about hygiene. This is about ritual purity. The Law of Moses had prescribed the ritual washing of hands and feet for priests when they were serving at …

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