Yesterday, we finished our discussion by learning that we are a tree of righteousness. Today, we want to recognize the root of defilement that wants to creeps into our lives, if we are not careful (Matthew 15:10-20) Next, as Jesus calls the people to Him and tells them to listen and understand. Matthew 15:11~ it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. (ESV) If Pharisees and scribes think eating without ceremonially washing their hands defiles them. Jesus is about to upset their apple carts as He explains defilement is not an external matter, such as only eating certain foods or washing hands. 

Christ Jesus says people are defiled by who they are on the inside. Wait, you mean defilement is about our hearts? Yes, it is a spiritual matter. Why do you think the Lord didn’t punish David who ate the bread of Presence in 1 Samuel 21:6? It is because David’s heart was right and human need is always more important than tradition. So Christ Jesus says, it is what comes out of our mouths that defile us. Because our words reveal the condition of our hearts! Pharisees and scribes know God’s Word, therefore they ought to have known what God says to Samuel when he almost anoints the wrong person to replace king Saul. 1 Samuel 16:7~But the LORD said to Samuel, Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him…(NIV)

The disciples come to Christ Jesus and say, you know you just offended them right? Our Lord Jesus Christ is certainly aware He’s offended them, but it is necessary to reveal the truth. He responds to His disciples by talking about weeding life’s garden Matthew 15:13~Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. (ESV) That means traditions can become a weed in our lives that choke out the good growth God has planned. Matthew 15:14~Let them alone; they’re blind guides. and if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. (ESV) The Pharisees and scribes are blind to the true meaning of God’s Word. The pit was a hole, or cistern, dug in a field to provide water for animals. A blind man walking through such a field would fall into the pit. It speaks to their spiritual condition and needs. We are to be light and reveal the help and hope that is found only in Jesus. Romans 2:19~if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark (NIV). 

In disappointment, Christ Jesus asks if they’re still without understanding? Saying in Matthew 15:17~Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? (ESV) This means food going into the body can’t defile a person because it passes thru and gets expelled. But what is in our hearts can come out of our mouths. Listen to how this is rendered by Mark 7:19~For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body. In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean. (NIV) Enjoy that pork BBQ today, for Daniel is coming.  

Mathew 15:19-20~out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone. (ESV) Are you guilty of any of these sins today? Don’t be too quick to answer as Jeremiah 17:9 reminds our hearts are desperately deceitful. All you have to do is look at our great nation as living proof! There’s no power on earth that can change our hearts. It takes a heavenly intervention. One born from a spiritual metamorphosis, a change from the inside out that alters our heart

Hear me clearly, only Jesus Christ can bring true and lasting change. We can go and get an education, make lots of money, take different medicines to help us, or even adapt to a more sophisticated culture, however, none of these will change a single heart. Today, I want each of us to pray the prayer of Psalm 26:2~Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; (NIV) As you move out from your devotional time, keep asking the Lord to help you walk the straight and narrow as you prepare for the Daniel fast next week.

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