1/30 Mark 7:15

15 "There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him."

The Jews believed that evil could enter into a person through the mouth. They were fearful of eating off a plate or drinking from a vessel that had been touched by a Gentile. Dishes purchased from a foreigner would be carefully washed, or if possible, taken through a fire. They ritually washed their hands before eating. They also believed non-kosher foods would make a person unclean. While these are good dietary and hygienic practices, evil has another origin.

Jesus explained that sin comes from within one's own heart. It was against the laws of Moses to eat non-kosher food (Leviticus 11), but eating it in spite of God's command is not the issue, for following God's Law begins in the heart. Those food laws were for the health of the nation, but for a Jew to eat one bite of pork or crab would not make the person unclean. Rebellion starts in the heart.

We are quick to point outside ourselves to place blame on something or someone else for our own actions. Eve blamed the serpent. Adam blamed Eve and ultimately God (Genesis 3:12). Jesus is telling us that when we sin we should look within. There is a desire in our own hearts that is ungodly. We have not yet taken that desire to the cross. We can point at a multitude of things to justify our actions, but Jesus has told us the real source. Quit placing blame on circumstances and people and look at your heart.

Prayer: Lord, help me to stop placing blame and to deal with the sin in my own heart. Help me identify the sin and understand why I have fallen for a lie. Help me take the wrong desire to the cross.