All these evils come from within and they defile. Mark 7:23 NABRE
Jesus has engaged with the religious leaders from the temple about ritual purity and following tradition over God’s commandments. Following this encounter Jesus provides a teaching on food cleanliness. The Jews select certain food as being clean and will keep them pure if they eat only these foods. Much of their guidance on clean food comes from scriptural references; kosher animals have cloven hooves, only fish with scales are edible, there is no eating of birds of prey and many other restrictions Jews have decided what they deem clean and unclean to eat. Jesus in this teaching declares all foods clean. Jesus says nothing that enters a person from the outside can define the person. This is so controversial for a Jew that after Jesus teaches this to a crowd His disciples speak to Him privately about what He has said, as if they cannot believe He is serious. Even much later in time God challenges Peter to eat birds of prey (see Acts 10:13-15) and even though Peter heard this message of Jesus he still will not eat what he believes is unclean.
Jesus goes on to proclaim that the only things which can defile us comes from within. From within people come evil thoughts, from with our hearts, things like; theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, envy, arrogance and more. Essentially all evil comes from within a person and it can influence others to allow evil to grow in their hearts. It is a message that we must be careful what we see and hear, because the seeds of evil grow within and defile us. Jesus prefers we only see good, love and joy and have only our good influence others.
Where does unclean thoughts begin for you? What can you do to remain pure of heart?Jesus message is we must be careful what we see and hear, because the seeds of evil grow within and defile us. Jesus prefers we only see good, love and joy and have only our good influence others. Click To Tweet
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