Washing Hands

Washing Hands uses conversation between the three Pharisees, Ezra, Nathan and Obed, to sketch some of the background to the reading from Mark 7.
Reader:Mark 7.1-4.
EZRA:Do you notice these disciples of Jesus?
NATHAN:They're rather a mixed bunch, Ezra, if that's what you mean.
EZRA:Nathan, can't you see? Here we are, the local Pharisees keeping an eye on Jesus - and you can't see!
OBED:Nathan, they're not just a mixed bunch, but a "mixed up" bunch!
EZRA:A good way of putting it, Obed - though I wonder if it's only that!
OBED:Perhaps they're being deliberately led astray?
EZRA:That's my fear!
NATHAN:A number of them have been respected business people in the district!
EZRA:That's not the point! Just look at them! Careless about washing their hands before eating!
NATHAN:Looked hygienic enough to me!
OBED:That's not the point, Nathan! Up here in Galilee we are in contact with Gentiles all the time.
EZRA:No wonder it's nicknamed "Galilee of the nations"!
NATHAN:So you don't mean washing for hygiene, but ritual washing?
OBED:We have to wash away any contamination of evil.
EZRA:So - coming in from the market-place, where we may have to mix with Gentiles and all sorts of other undesirables...
OBED:...we have to wash our hands.
EZRA:That's the teaching passed down from the ancestors!
NATHAN:Well then, let's go direct to Jesus and ask him! It sounds pretty serious!
Reader:Mark 7.5-13.

From Between the Lines. Dialogues for Worship by Peter J. Blackburn published by Testimonium Fellowship 1992, (c) Peter J. Blackburn.
Permission is given for copying of this document for local use with this copyright notice intact. For any other proposed use the specific permission of Peter J. Blackburn must be sought.

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