Friday, October 23, 2015

A Defiled vs Sanctified Heart

This morning I had a wonderful study period with my mom.  We studied Matthew 14-15.  There was a part which stopped us up, and we had a hard time processing what Jesus was saying, so we drew a drawing to help break it down.

Matthew 15 discusses how the scribes PLUS Pharisees came from Jerusalem to Jesus.  (He didn't seek this discussion, they brought it to Him.)  They challenge Him, saying,

"Why do Your taught ones transgress the tradition of the elders?  For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread." (Matt. 15:1)
In various feasts and ordinances the priests are to wash their hands as part of the ordinance.  In Passover feasts, the participants are to "wash their hands" as part of the ceremony.  It is considered cleansing and representative of washing away of sin.

One distinction I like in this translation (The Scriptures) is that the King James use of "disciples" is changed to "Your taught ones".  It brings to mind that the people who followed Jesus were being taught by Him, much like when I enjoy learning from various gurus of our day.  These people followed and studied with Him, learning from Him routinely.  I can think of a few living people I do this with.

So the scribes and Pharisees wanted to know why those who were taught by Him didn't follow the tradition of the elders in washing their hands when they eat bread.  Christ responds,

"Why do you also transgress the command of Elohim because of your tradition?  For Elohim has commanded, saying, 'Respect your father and your mother,' and 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' 
But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me has been dedicated," is certainly released from respecting his father or mother.'  So you have nullified the command of Elohim by your tradition.  
Hypocrites!(!!)  Yeshayahu (Isaiah) rightly prophesied about you, saying, 'This people draw near to Me with their mouth, and respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.  But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men.'  
Referring to the drawing again,

on the left side is what Elohim's law declares.  We are to respect father and mother.  If we do not respect them, but curse them, the principle is that death follows.  This was part of the law that was given after Moses had to return to the mount because the Israelites were worshiping other gods.  So this is a basic law of heaven that is being instituted in as simple of form as possible.  Respect your parents; honor them.

Contrast this with what the scribes and Pharisees were teaching, which was "If you kids can pay off your parents (or benefit them through some means), you're released from needing to respect them.  You can pay your way out of the relationship."  (I assume a Hebrew scholar will understand this verse more than I, so this is my layman's interpretation of it.)  If you note the arrows in the drawing, in the Law from Elohim, the love and respect and honor goes from child to parent.  It illustrates gratitude, and promotes harmony from one line of descendants to another.  It imitates the respect, love, and glory Christ shows to his Father.  Gratitude is one thing that ties hearts together, and when a child shows gratitude for the sacrifices of their parents, it allows the parents to be honored and reciprocate love to the child more readily.  It seems to be a natural law of the universe, or a law of heaven, I suppose.  It is a true principle in my life at least.

However on the right side, it encases greed, selfishness, and lack of relationship or respect from child to parent.  It is self-serving.  It is disharmony.  The child has no eternal gratitude but to pay off the parent with some form or money or "profit".  The relationship becomes more temporary, as ties seem to be severed and released.  They are "free".

{As a sidenote, this resembles Satan's efforts in the councils at the beginning of this world.  He wanted to collect the glory, severing his ties with Elohim.  In essence create his own, disconnected kingdom with no reciprocation of gratitude, glory, or respect for Elohim.  "Glory be mine" mentality.  See Moses 4:1-4.}  

This discussion expresses the heart to me of what Jesus is saying.  After the scribes + Pharisees interrupt their lesson, he gathers in the taught ones and explains the whole crux of the matter.
"And calling the crowd near, He said to them, "Hear and understand: "Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man, but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles the man."
Then his taught ones came and said to Him, "Do You know that the Pharisees stumbled when they heard this word?"  
But He answering, said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted shall be uprooted.  Leave them alone.  They are blind leaders of the blind.  And if the blind leads the blind, both shall fall into a ditch."  
And Kepha (Peter) answering, said to Him, "Explain this parable to us."
And Yeshua (Jesus) said, "Are you also still without understanding?  Do you not understand that whatever enters into the mouth goes into the stomach, and is cast out in the sewer?  But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and these defile the man.  For out of the heart come forth wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, whorings, thefts, false witnesses, slanders.  These defile the man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.  And Yeshua went out from there and withdrew to the parts of Tsor and Tsidon."  
How is (y)our heart?  Do the things which come out of it defile us?  Or does it sanctify us?

So thankful for this powerful lesson.

Love You Jesus.  Love you, reader.   


  1. It took me reading your whole post and relook at your sketch to understand what you were talking about. But I get it now. Thanks for explaining and for the visual aid-the drawing. Awesome post!

    1. Thanks Sally! It's taken me a few times reading the verses to really have a clue what was being said. I think in Sunday School one might tend to focus on the Father/Mother point, or the Pharisees were being rude, but to process that Jesus was pointing out their hypocrisy in honoring their tradition over the commandment was a big kicker for me. I probably could have explained it more clearly, but I think the bottom line was that if we have unclean hearts, we are totally ok to roll with following traditions over commandments. WOW! What a lesson! (That just hit me...)


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