"But the words you speak come from the heart-- that's what defiles you.
For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying and slander.
These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you."
Matthew 15:18-20 NLT (emphasis, mine)
Most of the time I live like the point of my life is simply not to "rock the boat"...
But Jesus certainly didn't shy away from offending anyone.
The Jews assumed the long-awaited Savior would reprimand the sinners and the Gentiles, but instead Jesus spent most of His time preaching about the goodness of the Kingdom, and setting the religious people straight.
They had gotten off track. In their humanness, they grabbed hold of the Old Testament Law and ran with it. It makes sense- it was a tangible measurement of how godly they were. A way to judge whether they were good enough to get to God. A way to "one up" their neighbor and feel a little better about their own life.
But Jesus came to flip all that on its back.
Jesus pulls a passive-aggressive move in Matthew 15:11 when He says to the crowds, "It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth."
Gasp! The disciples were sweating in their robes. The Pharisees were not going to be happy about this.
But Peter... oh, bold Peter, steps up and says, "Jesus. Hey Jesus- I'm a little confused. Why don't you explain that one a little more?"
Maybe he truly didn't understand. Or maybe he wanted to make sure those pompous Pharisees heard it one more time, so Jesus explains:
"...the words you speak come from the heart... eating with unwashed hands will never defile you."
In essence: It's not about your outside act-- what comes out of your mouth will show what is really in your heart.
You can wash your skin, but your heart is still dirty.
It's easy for me to sit behind my phone or computer screen and act like I have my life together. Act like I love God. Act like I care about people.
But what do my words say about the real condition of my heart?
I can fake submission when my heart is still rebellious.
It'll come out.
I can fake love when my heart is full of jealousy.
It'll come out.
I can fake humility when my heart is full of pride.
It'll come out.
Time and time again the Bible reminds us it's the heart that matters most.
"A good man," Jesus once said, "brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings forth evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." (Luke 6:45).
I want my inward heart condition to match my outward presentation. Which means I must submit my heart and my life to God, allowing Him to "Search me... and know my heart" (Psalm 139:23).
I must humbly submit every area to Him, allowing Him to point out corners where I am hiding anger, unforgiveness, and unloving ways and wash me with His will and His Word.
Lord, fill my heart with good things!
Dwelling in Him,
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.
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