Camel pic. Gnat pic. 

I love how Jesus teaches.  It throws us for a loop.  Like when he is confronted by someone who has a hidden agenda.  He’ll reply to the persons question with another question, and then a story, or use something next to him as a prop.  It’s great.  Like the time when he’s co-kickin it with the Pharisees(Luke 11:37-54 & Matthew 23).  He’s been invited into one of their homes for a meal and does everything wrong like not wash his hands.  *gasp*  He gives them an ear full as well.  It’s great. 

The Pharisees where hecka disciplined and knowledgeable of Jewish law.  They would give their “tithe” which is ten percent of what they had religiously.  It was common to grow ones own food in which Pharisees grew spices.  Interestingly enough it was common for Pharisees to tithe from their spices. 

Another bit of cultural custom of the Pharisees was to drink wine out of their designated goblets/cup things.  They would have a filtration system on the top to screen out any impurities, like non-kosher air bound insects such as gnats(they’re really annoying, they like fruit), as they poured the wine into their cups.  After each drink they would place the screen back on so as not to let any little buggers in.  Another non-kosher food where things with split hooves, and much more other food restrictions, etc.

That being said, Jesus brilliantly observes their “devotion” to the law and comments on it in Matthew 23:23, “"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel”.

    Brilliant I say.  So what is our cultural camel?  Gnat?  What is yours? 

Something worth noting, the Pharisees wasn’t exactly aware of theirs.  Shall we pray?

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