Scripture Reflections: Matthew 15
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."
Lord Jesus--The original question was about hand washing which had become a ritual that needed to be done exactly for anyone who really wanted to be religious. There had grown around the Jewish insights about God a legalism that had made the whole quest after God into something that was list of behaviors.
There have been those times in my life when I thought that the quest after after you was found in so many silly things...none of which were really bad, just not ultimately effective. Seeking after You is not so much about education as application, not so much about "don'ts" as it is about "do's." Following You is about discovering I can grow anywhere as long as I follow where your lead.
I grew up in a culture that thought of itself as christian but thought that chrisitianity was about behavior. Many times we missed the point that the real issue was the heart. Are behaviors important? Sure, but you see the heart of me, before I do. You separate intent from action...continue the work of Your Holy Spirit in my heart Lord.
Lord Jesus--Seeking after you has more to do with what comes out of my mouth than what goes in...words that heal or words that hurt...intentions given voice that push myself and those around me closer to you or further away from you.
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.' "
Lord Jesus--The things that really matter come from the heart, and as they come to the surface they also form my heart. That is the tricky part...that is the part that continues to be a moving target in my life, how do I continue to let you work with freedom. I need to allow you the room and the freedom to continue to change my heart and mind. I have noticed that you speak sometimes at the most surprising times to my heart...and through people that I would never expect.
The promise is that spiritual formation will happen as I give you the room you need to make that happen.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritua act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Help me in this day that will begin in just a short time, to focus on the things that really matter.