Listening to Bema Discipleship podcast offers a lot of literary tools and cultural tools in understanding biblical text and text to context. One of the teaching examples given was about why co-host Brent Billings is free to eat a pint o bacon at his cousins restaurant and why rabi Marty Solomon would or would not. Brent’s cousin opened a new restaurant, and a pint o bacon is an actual menu item to order. Marty Solomon spoke of being born into a line of Jewish men and women and although he professes Jesus Christ he has chosen with his fellow Jews to be a keeper of the law, (the first 5 books of Bible). As a result, he is committed to the biblical text and a set of laws that demonstrate his love for God, is distinctly different than the world, separated and sanctified. So what is my point to all this? A personal understanding I did not previously understand, and the love displayed.
At a previous job a breakfast potluck was given. Matt was very proud of his breakfast casserole, which was specifically requested for this occasion and had pork product within it. Matt made an unknowingly inconsiderate comment toward Daniel joining the community of workers as he chose to eat a portion of the breakfast casserole Matt was so proud of.
Daniel, a Messianic Jew made an ill-informed comment toward a co-worker Julie who chose to have tattoos. Culturally there is so much more between the lines that are not so obvious.
As a Messianic Jew Daniel is called to be a keeper of the law like rabi Marty Solomon and therefore is not permitted to have tattoos. Julie a gentile, (anyone not born a Jew) is not called to be a keeper of the same law Daniel is. Daniel may have meant well, but in his ignorance did not demonstrate the love of God to Julie. Daniel choosing to eat the pork breakfast casserole and as a keeper of the law is required to perform a ritual cleansing and in Matt’s ignorance he did not realize that Daniel did demonstrate the love of God by joining us in a meal.
So if rabi Marty joined Brent at his cousins restaurant and there is nothing on the menu he can eat, he probably won’t. But, if his cousin is as proud of his pint of bacon as Matt is of his breakfast casserole, he might. There is a greater cost to rabi Marty than there is to us who are free from the law.
It is better to love than to obey, it is better to obey than sacrifice, it is better to sacrifice than to do nothing. We are called to take care of one another demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ to ALL people.