20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
These remarks of Jesus fall in the bigger picture concerning external rituals. The Pharisees and Sadducees were so incredible fixated on the external rituals to remain undefiled and ‘holy’ that they were not only missing the point completely, but they were expecting and teaching others to do the same.
Jesus is asserting nothing from the outside can render one defile. However, it’s from the inside that renders one defile. So, the external rituals or practices did not make one holy. It was that which came from within and stems from a sinful heart.
Thus, Jesus took the focus of attention away from external rituals and placed it on the need for God to cleanse one’s sinful heart (cf. Ps. 51).
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What does this passage tell you about humanity?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in an area of your life that needs transformation?
- Is there anyone you think should hear or will benefit from this message? Go and tell them.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Be still and allow the presence of Jesus to bring you rest right now.