Matthew 15:10-11, 15-20 – “After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand.  11 “It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”  15 Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also?  17 “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?  18 “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.  19 ” For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.  20 “These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” NASB

Jesus was dealing with man-made traditions and the legalism of the Pharisees when He made this statement.  It highly offended the Pharisees because of all their laws, rules, and regulations.  They were very much a “touch not” and “taste not” society on virtually every level of life including what they ate or refused to eat.  Jesus’ words indicate that too often we are focused on the wrong things in life.  His teaching covers so much more than food but sometimes we miss that part.

You can eat some things that although God does not forbid them, will most assuredly harm your health.  They won’t keep you out of heaven but might help you get there earlier than you would have otherwise.  That is a choice you have to make for yourself. 

Here Jesus gives clarity to his statement and identifies what comes out of the heart – evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slanders.  He is identifying that out of the heart, the core of the being, the spring of your thoughts is what produces the defilement not what you eat. 

We know that it is out of the abundance of what the heart is filled with that a man speaks. (Luke 6:45) By and large, what you hear people saying identifies what is in and the condition of the heart.  I listen to what people talk about and how they talk to help me understand who and what they are.  The heart will reveal itself and the mouth, the eyes, the thoughts, and actions will give evidence as to what is inside.

So, I encourage you that instead of focusing on man-made rules, regulations, and ceremonies focus on the heart and in that make the focus of the heart God.  It is imperative that we “seek first and foremost” the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.  If you carefully read that passage you will realize that the Kingdom and the King are inseparable.  If we have the King, we have the Kingdom.

May God be with you as you go through this day!

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