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Matthew 15:1-20

Monday, 11 January 2021

“But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.” -Matthew 15:18

In response to the challenge by the Jewish leaders regarding breaking the tradition of washing of hands before meal by His disciples, Jesus points them to the underlying intentions of their heart that needed correction. In turn Jesus tells the crowd what really defiles people: “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”(V.11). This led Jesus to explain to the disciples a weightier matter- the defilement of the heart. Our actions and our words betray what lies in our heart.

How is the heart defiled? : More than the things or pleasures (temptations) of this world, what defiles us is, the response in our mind to these things. The love of these things and not the existence of them, is the real problem. The greatest danger lies in loving these things above God. If you love something you will always be thinking about it! What you feed on fills the heart. If you feed on the wrong things then a host of wrong stuff comes out of the heart. “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” [V.18 NLT]

Knowing the heart of the problem is really the heart, Jesus said ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Matt. 22:37) and Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.”(Phil. 4:8) Even before we commit an act of defilement our hearts can be defiled with ungodly thoughts!

A very simple presumptuous thought can lead to the following defilement:

  • Presuming God understands while you go about doing your own will (when the revealed will of God is given in His Word), can sear our conscience and make us hardhearted.

  • Presuming the motives of another (while the Bible clearly states that no one knows the things of man other than the spirit of the man himself) can make us suspicious and judgmental.

Nobody can see this defilement but God does – He says “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10). This is why it is very important to watch the doorway to our heart through our eyes and ears. Your thoughts run on what you see and hear! Hence take heed from Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Such defiling of the heart can be cleansed only by regeneration by the Word through the Spirit- a continual "washing of water by the word” (Eph.5:26)." Jesus said: "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”(John 15:3). The Word of God cleanses our inner being! Meditating on His Word, praying, putting them into practice can help us to have a closer walk with Him.

Friend, how is your heart today? If it is defiled by thoughts contrary to God and His Word, would you ask Him for a cleansing- for it says in 1 John 1:9 [NLT] : “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” Trust Christ Jesus to give you a clean heart today!

To Act on: “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5 [NASB]



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