“And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him.”Mark 7:18–20
eace and good to all.
If I may share my insights on the above gospel of our Lord.
That which “defile” means, that which corrupts, pollute or debase. In moral sense, it means that which renders a person unacceptable to God, like committing a sin.
What makes a person unholy or unacceptable then in the eyes of God? The gospel says it’s not the food that we eat because they are expelled from our bodies afterwards. The thoughts and intentions of our hearts that matter because the things that come out from our mouths, the things that we do or our actions, are reflections of what is inside our hearts.
God judges us from what is inside our hearts which is in contrast in the law of man. In the law of man, there is no crime when there is no overt act committed. In the eyes of God, it is different. For instance, Matthew 5:28 says that “if anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her.” In the law of man, however, there is no adultery by just looking lustfully at a woman.
Remember the passage relating to anger? That “whosoever is angry without a cause will be in danger of judgment”. Anger per se is not punishable in the law of man, because it is a feeling, a negative or hostile thought. The law of man does not punish a mere thought, it is only when this resulted into action like, murder, that a person is subjected to the judgment of man. But in the eyes of God, this hostile or negative thought that we have against someone brings us already in the danger of being judged by God.
What the gospel is saying here is that, our sin comes from within, it comes from our hearts. It does not matter whether we have actually take into action what is inside our hearts, for God looks and judges us from our hearts because everything that we do are what our hearts dictate. The heart is the person’s inner moral and spiritual life, everything we do flows out from it, thus, the scripture says (Proverbs 4:23), guard it. “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of,” Luke 6:45.
God can see what is inside our the very core of our hearts. We may deceive our brothers and sisters, we may even deceive our ourselves, but not God. Yes, we are all far from perfect, but we have Jesus whom we can rely for wisdom for us to be always guided. We may fall short at times of God’s expectations from us, but God can see our repenting hearts and our eagerness not to be separated from Him. God knows the sincerity of ours hearts. God be with us all.