Not my house. . .or the laundry. . .those are never-ending jobs. No, I'm truly thankful that all foods are clean to us in Christ. That's something most of us never contemplate for even a split second because we take it for granted. The idea has been on my mind, though, after talking with my upstairs neighbor. I happened to mention that my eldest son was applying for a summer teaching job in East Asia. Her immediate reaction was to shudder over the food choices in that part of the world. I reassured her that Kevin doesn't mind trying strange new foods. After all, he ate the camel meat set before him last summer. She nodded, and said eating strange new foods wasn't the issue for her; it was a matter of not having access to halal meats. She said they would never consider visiting the Far East because they might accidentally defile themselves with unclean foods.
That stuck with me all week. Think what a hindrance dietary laws would have been to the spread of the Gospel. It would be a stretch to surround yourself with people who are constantly serving you offensive dishes. If you did overcome your distaste for the people and their food, you would still waste precious time and energy trying to research where every piece of meat originated. Feeding yourself within the bounds of Mosaic law could quickly become a higher priority than teaching the Gospel.
That's why I'm grateful that Jesus Christ declared that it isn't what goes into the stomach but what comes out of the heart that defiles us, that God gave Peter a vision on the rooftop declaring all foods clean, and that Paul assured his readers that all foods can be eaten with gratitude to God.