Matthew 15: Changing the Game
Matthew 15 brings us to an interesting statement from Jesus.
Mat 15:10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
Mat 15:11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
For modern Christians, I don’t think many of us would find this controversial. We understand that while our bodies are certainly temples and need to be cared for appropriately, but it is much more important for us to be careful of what we say.
This was apparently difficult for the disciples to understand because we receive an explanation.
Mat 15:16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?
Mat 15:17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
We can talk about the explanation, but what stood out more prominently to me is the fact that it required an explanation to His own disciples. That tells me that this was a temptation for the people in that time as well. It was still not easy for them to understand, and it very well could have been controversial at the time.
Jesus was changing the game, and it would’ve been hard for His culturally Jewish disciples and followers to accept what He was saying. He was arguing that maybe dietary laws were not that important. It doesn’t matter nearly as much as the heart of an individual.