Peter Barnes: Leviticus 11
(28 July 2019)
SERMON NOTES: ARE BACON AND EGGS OKAY? (Leviticus 11)
A letter in the Australian from 16 April 2019 asked: ‘Maybe Israel Folau could explain why he adheres to some teaching of the Bible but not others’, meaning why does the Bible condemn homosexual acts and the eating of shellfish, i.e. if one is opposed, both should be.
1. A summary of the food laws of the Old Testament.
– the distinction between clean and unclean animals is found in Noah’s day – Gen.7:2; 8:20.
– those that were clean divided the hoof and chewed the cud – Lev. 11:1-3, 7. Fish needed scales before they were eaten (11:12). Eagles and the like were not to be eaten (11:13-19). Of the insects, only locusts were to be eaten (11:22; note Mark 1:6). Carcasses were not to be touched (11:24ff).
(a) It may be a case of health and hygiene.
(b) Animals were often connected to pagan cults, especially in Egypt.
(c) There was a need for Israel to be a nation that was separate to the Gentile nations – 11:44-5; also 19:2; 20:7, 26; Deut.14:1-2. All three explanations have something going for them, but the third one seems to be the main one.
2. Sin is inward before it is outward.
– Mark 7:14-23. What is wrong with us is us, not what we eat.
– John 18:28. You see how distorted our thinking can get?
3. The separation of Jews and Gentiles is abolished in Christ.
– Acts 10:10-16. How does Peter understand his vision? See Acts 10:34-36; 11:17-18. The distinction between clean and unclean animals reflects that between Jews and Gentiles, and is now fulfilled in Christ.
To be holy, put your hope and trust in the Holy One, Jesus Christ.