The religious leaders were so concerned with what went into people’s mouths. Did you wash thouroughly? was it kosher? Jesus saw right through the rigor and religion the leaders were focused upon. As He so aptly said, “It is not what goes into your mouth that defines you, it is what comes out.” It wasn’t that Jesus wanted to ignore eating laws, it was simply that those laws did little to affect the condition of men’s hearts.
Jesus was growing weary of the constant abuse of authority by the Jewish leaders. They knew the laws better than most, but seemed clueless about the God that created them and those laws. Jesus simply called them out. He said look at what is coming out of your mouth and your thoughts. You have less regard for God or His people; than you do the administrative rules about food. They lost sight of who and whose they were–God’s annointed and appointed.
In present day, Christians still struggle with that issue. In their attempt to keep denominational or religious rules, they lose sight of the real key of trust, submission and worship. As we trust in the Lord, follow him closely, and submit to his leadership; religious rules and habits become less important. We become too busy seeking him and serving others; to keep track of others adhearance to administrative religious practice. When that happens, all of the sudden, revival breaks out and Jesus shines. Then and now, all God wants is our hearts–he will carry the work to completion from there. As Paul taught us in Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God Bless You
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”
16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”