The scribes and Pharisees were criticizing Jesus because His disciples did not wash their hands before they ate bread and the religious leaders said they “transgressed the tradition of the elders” by not washing their hands so they defiled themselves and Jesus answered with a parable. The apostle Peter asked Jesus to explain the parable – we pick up the narrative in Matthew 15: 16-20: “So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” As a person thinks in his heart, so is he. How do thoughts get into the heart, the seat of reflection? Through the eyes, ears, and other senses. The raw material of our actions is what we take into our mind and allow to settle in our heart (like what we watch on TV, the movies we go to, the people we hang with, etc). King David put it this way in Psalm 119:11 – “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” The other side is seen in Psalm 101:3 – “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes.” Paul pictured the believer as “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. What are you allowing into your heart? Something to pray over brothers and sisters.

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