Blessed… From Out of the Heart

Then Peter spoke up, “Explain this riddle to us.” Jesus said, “Don’t you understand yet?Don’t you know that everything that goes into the mouth enters the stomach and goes out into the sewer? But what goes out of the mouth comes from the heart. And that’s what contaminates a person in God’s sight. Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adultery, sexual sins, thefts, false testimonies, and insults.  These contaminate a person in God’s sight. But eating without washing hands doesn’t contaminate in God’s sight” (Matthew 15:15-20, Common English Bible).

Yesterday the Pharisees were complaining about the disciples not washing their hands before they ate. While it is, without question, a good hygiene practice, to not do so on occasion is hardly an earth-shattering event for which we should stop the presses at the local newspaper.

Jesus then went on to say, “Listen and understand. It’s not what goes into the mouth that contaminates a person in God’s sight. It’s what comes out of the mouth that contaminates the person” (Matthew 15:11, Common English Bible).

The disciples don’t understand what Jesus is saying. As is also what should by now be a pretty familiar occurrence, Peter is the one to speak up in today’s lesson, wanting an explanation to Jesus’ “riddle.”

Jesus, in what would have been pretty graphic terms for his time says, “What goes into the mouth goes out to the sewer.” In other words, whatever might be on our hands (and I think he speaks metaphorically here) isn’t what matters. The food we eat is going to go through its normal process from mouth to stomach to colon and gone whether we wash our hands or not. And, while we may think it gross to not wash our hands, Jesus says it really doesn’t matter to God.

I think it really doesn’t matter because for Jesus, a bodily process like food intake would be about fuel for the other things we do. What really matters for Jesus is, what is the condition of the heart. When we ignore the other things and instead focus on heart things, we find what is truly offensive to God.

For far too many of us, we have allowed our hearts to harden with the things of the world. Jesus says, what is in the heart is what will come out of the mouth. And the way we humans have lived, from the beginning, there is a pretty good chance what comes out of our mouths will be offensive to God.

We need to be about better than that. I believe, that for all of us, somewhere deep within us, within our hearts are the things of God. What is left for us is, to allow the spirit to chip away at the hardness, to chip away at the things that are offensive to God so what God placed there to begin with, love, will come through for the world to see in us, that they too may move past the things that are offensive to God.

What is in your heart you need to allow the Spirit to chip away?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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