Today’s chapter holds three of Jesus’ teachings. First, he talks about worrying more about tradition than the commandments of God. He uses the fact that the Pharisees allow people to give everything to God, and that releases them from needing to help their parents. This is obviously a clear violation of the the commandment to honor our parents, yet people were allowed to do this by the Pharisees.
The second teaching, however, is where I want to spend my time. Jesus tells the Pharisees, “there is noting outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man” (7:15 NASB). Jesus’ statement is speaking towards the heart of man. He says in verses 21-23, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”
This teaching spans all the way back to Genesis 3. When we were created, we were not created with the heart that Jesus is talking about, rather we were made with one of servitude and worship. It was when Adam and Eve first sinned, our hearts changed and became full of the things listed above.
So what do we do? It seems that our hearts are full of things that God tells us to stray away from and that we should not be. However we have a way to be rid of those things. In Christ, we are a new creation. While we are still human we have to fight these things, yet we have the ability to overcome these temptations through Christ.
So ask God for forgiveness. Spend time with the Lord, and read the Scriptures. This is how we overcome the evil that is inside of all of us. So take up the habit if you haven’t already. This body is not who we were created to be, so let’s seek the heart of God so we can become all that we were meant to be.