Matt 15:10-14: “When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear and understand: 11 "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." 12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?" 13 But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch."
So many times we worry about the silliest things when God is concerned for the serious life-changing and eternal consequences of our hearts. The Scribes and Pharisees came to Jesus and asked Him a question about the custom of ceremonial washing that was a Jewish tradition of the day. Jesus’ disciples apparently did not wash their hands before a meal. This “law of the elders” was a tradition of men, and not of God’s written law. Jesus was angry and called them hypocrites because they would follow a law that was handed down by old men, but they would disregard the Law of God.
Jesus utilized this moment as a training opportunity for His disciples. He told them that, “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles or corrupts a person, rather it is what comes out of the mouth that does.” For you see, Jesus was saying that the words that you say and the way you say those words speaks volumes about your heart condition. For eventually those things you feel in your heart will make its way to the mouth, and your heart will betray your mouth. You cannot keep you true self hidden forever. Your foundational beliefs will surface, and that is why Jesus calls the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites.
For the Christ-follower it is with utmost care that we watch our heart motives and the condition of our thoughts. When we harbor bitterness and false thoughts in our hearts we are sinning. The sins that we commit begin in our mind and then transforms to outward sins. The book of James says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you?” (4:1) Jesus tells His disciples that if they could control the mind then they could control the tongue.
The problem with the Pharisees was that their hearts were not right. We need to get our hearts aligned with Christ. When we surrender daily to Him, and ask Him to help us to think right and control our thoughts, He will. We also need to daily ask Him to help us control our mouths and help us not think we are better then anyone else.
Old Testament: Exod. 1-3 New Testament Matt 15:21-39