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Mark 7 v 9 - 13

Jesus goes on to demonstrate His knowledge of both Old Testament Law and the oral law in His argument with the Jewish religious leaders. The word 'Corban' can be translated as 'God-dedicated', so let's study what that may mean:

1. It would mean 'a gift', something specifically dedicated to God-as if it had already been laid upon the altar-but it could be used in daily life to pressurise a debtor into repaying what he owed. Jesus mentions a particular example here where a man avoids for some reason providing for a parent in need by vowing his money to God and in effect breaking one of the Ten Commandments! The oral law superseding the Law of God!

2. 'Corban' became a much more generalised oath and it may be that in the example Jesus refers to the man- in a fit of temper- had sworn never to provide for his parents and used the word 'corban' to show that his oath was serious. However, according to the Law of the Scribes, that man would never be able to provide for his parents in any way again.

Therefore, Jesus was attacking a system which put rules and regulations before the claims of human need: in this case, the rules and regulations might even PREVENT someone providing for another!

When I was a teenager I used to go for a walk in the neighbourhood of where I lived in London on a Sunday morning before church. I remember one day, I was asked by an elderly woman if I could go and buy her a newspaper as she couldn't get to the shops. I had never been into a shop on a Sunday as my parents for never allow their children to do this, so apologised and said I couldn't help her. A minor example, but one such instance where man-made rules prevented God's call to help the needy from taking place!


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