But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
In Matthew, Chapter 15, the Pharisees and Scribes had come to Jesus to ask him why his disciples break the traditions of the elders by not washing their hands before they eat. Christs asks the Pharisees and Scribes why do you break the commandments of God for the sake of your traditions. Jesus sites the prophesy of Isaiah 29:13:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
Christ talks about the lip service paid to God by man and how the arrogance of man leads them to preach the doctrine of man as if it comes from God.
Christ then gathers all the people and tells them the parable of “What Defiles A Person”. This is a short and simple parable, but the truth is short and simple.
it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
But the people and even the Disciples of Christ do not understand this simple truth. Christ then begins his explanation in verse 17:
Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?
Christ is telling us that worldly things do not make you righteous. What you eat is worldly, it sustains your body, which is worldly, in a worldly manner. It is then expelled from the body. What goes into your body has nothing to do with righteousness or the Kingdom of God.
God has given us the plants and the animals to sustain ourselves, and given us the knowledge to learn what can help us or hurt us. God has given the substance of life to all on this earth. But none of that makes us righteous or evil.
In verses 18 through 19, Christ tells us what is important. Christ tells us where righteousness begins and ends. It is in our hearts. Our mouths are a conduit for what is in our hearts. The mouth is a conduit for sin. We need to guard what comes out of our mouth, not what goes in.
After reading Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 1 through 19, and especially verses 18 through 19, my thoughts went to those who constantly open their mouths. Those who constantly open their mouths be it auditory or text. For text and social media are just an extension of one’s mouth.
The Pharisees and Scribes, the leaders of the Jews, were probably just like the leaders of today. They were caught up in the power, the wealth, and more concerned about subservience to their man made laws than to righteousness and the well-being of those they are supposed to serve.
The lesson is, that what matters most and what is most important, is what is in our hearts. For sin comes out of our hearts through our mouth, thoughts and deeds. Righteousness must reside in our hearts. And that is up to each of us as individuals.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.