Most people never really think about the need for spiritual cleanliness; the Jewish religious leaders had made quite a ritual out of physical cleanliness, hands in particularly had to be washed constantly. In today’s chapter in Matthew we read a lesson of Jesus about this which should be familiar to us: the kind of defilement we should be really concerned about!
Jesus said, “… what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (15:11). Remember Matthew 12: “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks … on the day of judgement people will give account for every careless word …” (verses 34,36). What is there in “abundance” in your heart? If we listen, read or watch the wrong things, they become part of our thinking and attitudes, and we start to develop a defiled heart.
Life today is such a contrast to our experiences over 70 years ago. Our concerns then included getting home from school if air raid warnings sounded; having faith in the overseeing hand of God was very real to our parents. And a very different diet was available for our hearts in those days.
There are countries today where true believers need genuine faith. God’s word tells us that the “peace” we presently experience is going to change dramatically. Are our hearts strong and focused so they will be able to cope with the time of world-wide trouble and anxiety which is coming?
Jesus explains his point to his disciples, “… what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts … sexual immorality …” (verses 18,19) and similar things; much entertainment today has these things in abundance!
Jesus also made this intriguing point, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up” (verse 13). Does your thinking and doing show that He has planted you?