“Some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, ‘Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat?’” Jesus knew their hearts, so he replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” Ouch!
He called them hypocrites, and then told them that Isaiah was right when he prophesied about them: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”
Then, Jesus called the crowd over to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean.” The disciples were concerned that Jesus had offended the Pharisees, but Jesus was not the least bit concerned about whether or not his words offended the self-righteous, prideful and hypocritical religious leaders who were leading people astray by their strict adherence to things that did not affect the heart of man, while they neglected the true matters of the heart.
Jesus is concerned about our hearts, and he wants us to have our hearts purified and to be made clean by the power of his Holy Spirit within us. So he is calling out to us to turn from our sins and to turn to follow him in obedience to his commands. This is the way of love, and it is the way of salvation.
The Heart of Man
An Original Work / April 4, 2012
Based off Matt. 15:1-20; Mk. 7:1-23
Listen to me ev’ryone and
Understand this teaching of Christ:
Why do you break the commands
Of God for the sake of tradition?
When you follow the ways of man,
And don’t obey the words of Christ,
You nullify the words of God,
And you hold to the ways of man.
What comes out of a man’s mouth is
What makes him unclean and dirty.
The things that come out of the mouth
Come from the heart, from within him.
The heart of man is so sinful;
From his nature, out comes evil:
Lying, cursing, greed and malice,
Lust and lewdness, deceit, slander.
Jesus calls us to obey him;
Turn from our sins; follow His ways.
Yet, his people honor him with their lips,
but their hearts not with Him.
Their worship of God is in vain.
Their teachings are rules taught by man.
Jesus calls us; gently leads us
To return and follow His truth.