But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’…
Jesus redefines for the religious leaders and His disciples what constitutes ‘unclean.’ The religious observance saw eating with unwashed hands as a source of defilement. Jesus turns the observance towards spiritual things. It is from the heart that ‘unclean’ things come. And these unclean things come out of the mouth, not into it. Ritually the Pharisees were perfect, but their hearts were full of things opposed to God. Religious observance does not guarantee godliness.
To really follow Jesus I need to continually dive deeper into the spiritual things of the heart. I can certainly be pharisaical! I can have the externals all lined up perfectly for myself and others to see, but my inner world… my heart… can be full of unclean things. Since my audience is a certain One, the externals are not important for viewing. If my heart is yielding to the Lord and is pleasing to Him, the externals will be fine even as they are of less importance.
For me daily devotions are a great application of this truth. There is an external, done in the body, discipline involved. Devotions transform my heart from unclean to clean, which is important and vital to my walk with Jesus. It would be too easy to have the external discipline become the measurement of spiritual growth. This is such a thin line! It is not the time logged in but the heart that is yielded and in submission to Jesus that matters!
Lord Jesus, have Your way with my heart today. Chip away everything that is not of You and allow me to reflect Your heart. Your life living through me today is my prayer.