Matthew 15:10–20 (ESV)
Defiles a Person
10 And he called the people to him and said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 it
is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they
heard this saying?” 13 He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind,
both will fall into a pit.” 15 But Peter said to him, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do
you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the
heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
People are unholy because of sin, not from some external defilement. Sin originates in the heart. Jesus mentioned
a few of these sins, and one could easily add many more. At our birth, we were already sinful. But through Holy Baptism and the Word, the Spirit has renewed our hearts and washed away all our sins (Ti 3:4–7). Although our hearts will never be completely
free from sinful desire in this life, God’s Spirit continues to lead us on the path of holiness.
I pray: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Amen.