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What did Jesus say about Kosher

what did jesus say about kosher

Jesus’ teachings and actions concerning kosher laws and broader questions of ritual purity mark significant moments in the Gospels, reflecting his approach to Jewish law and traditions. Here are key biblical passages and takeaways on this subject:

  1. Mark 7:14-23: Jesus declares all foods clean, emphasizing that it is what comes from within a person that defiles them, not what they eat. This teaching suggests a radical shift from a focus on external adherence to purity laws towards an emphasis on internal moral and spiritual purity.
  2. Matthew 15:1-20: Echoing Mark’s account, Jesus criticizes the Pharisees and scribes for their emphasis on human traditions (like ritual hand washing) over the commandments of God. He teaches that what enters the mouth does not defile a person, but what comes out of the mouth, from the heart, does.
  3. Luke 6:1-5: Jesus and his disciples are criticized for plucking and eating grain on the Sabbath. Jesus defends their actions by referencing David’s behavior when he was in need. He then asserts his lordship over the Sabbath, challenging traditional interpretations of what is lawful on the Sabbath, which can also be applied to understandings of kosher laws.

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. Inner Purity Over External Observance: Jesus emphasizes that true purity is a matter of the heart and moral integrity, not strict adherence to dietary laws. His message redirects focus from external rituals to internal virtues like love, justice, and mercy.
  2. Jesus’ Authority Over Tradition: Through his teachings and actions, Jesus asserts his authority to reinterpret and fulfill the Law, including kosher laws. This challenges traditional religious leaders and invites followers to understand the spirit behind the Law.
  3. Inclusivity and the Kingdom of God: By declaring all foods clean and focusing on moral rather than ritual purity, Jesus opens the way for a more inclusive community. This inclusivity is a hallmark of the Kingdom of God he proclaims, where barriers between people, including those erected by dietary laws, are overcome by love and grace.


  • Greg Gaines

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