10 耶穌就叫了眾人來，對他們說：「你們要聽，也要明白。11 入口的不能污穢人，出口的乃能污穢人。」12 當時，門徒進前來對他說：「法利賽人聽見這話，不服（原文是跌倒），你知道嗎？」13 耶穌回答說：「凡栽種的物，若不是我天父栽種的，必要拔出來。14 任憑他們吧！他們是瞎眼領路的；若是瞎子領瞎子，兩個人都要掉在坑裏。」15 彼得對耶穌說：「請將這比喻講給我們聽。」16 耶穌說：「你們到如今還不明白嗎？17 豈不知凡入口的，是運到肚子裏，又落在茅廁裏嗎？18 惟獨出口的，是從心裏發出來的，這才污穢人。19 因為從心裏發出來的，有惡念、凶殺、姦淫、苟合、偷盜、妄證、謗讟。20 這都是污穢人的；至於不洗手吃飯，那卻不污穢人。」
If possible, read the whole chapter to see the full picture of what is happening here. Then focus on the following section:
10Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’ ” 12Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” 13He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14Leave them; they are blind guides.[e] If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” 15Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.’ ”
- Jesus seems to spend a lot of time provoking the Pharisees by speaking harshly to them. Yet, these are supposed to be the most devout leaders in the entire nation. Joining Jesus in bashing the Pharisees is tempting. Thinking I’m glad I’m not like them is easy. But we often resemble the Pharisees more than we’d like to admit.
- Am I like the Pharisees, caring much about how I look on the outside, but neglect the purity on the inside?
- Read through the sins listed in v19. Ask the light of the holy God Most High to shine in my heart for me to see the filth and darkness. Ask for forgiveness and cleansing of my heart.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little while longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Talk about where sin begins. If the conclusion is the heart, discuss how the seed of sin gets there. Do we open our heart to those seed by what we read, what we watch, and what we listen to? What part do our friends play in our hearts being open to the seeds of sin? Pray that God will give you wisdom as you make your choices.