Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” – Matthew 15:12-20.
Jesus’ disciples are worried that He has offended the Pharisees by His words (see verses 1-11). But Jesus turns around and says that every plant not planted by the heavenly Father would be uprooted. He tells them to let them be because they are blind leaders of the blind and both were heading for a downfall.
Peter wants Jesus to explain the parable of eating and defiling (verse 11). Is our Lord annoyed with Peter for not understanding? He explains that whatever is eaten, goes to the stomach and is eventually eliminated. However, things which proceed out of the mouth, is coming from the heart and, if it is hateful / harmful, defiles a person. The mind or heart of an evil person harbors evil thoughts – murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, blasphemy. The evil disposition of a person defiles him/her; not what is eaten with unwashed hands.
Our Lord is concerned about the hearts and minds of people and we would do well to get them right in order to be acceptable to Him.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.