Commentaries
English
Matthew
  
f) Out of the Heart Proceed Evil Thoughts
(Matthew 15:10-20)
10When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand:11Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”12Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”13But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.14Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”15Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”16So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding?17Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated?18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.20These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” (Genesis8:21, Mark7:1-13, Acts5:38;10:15, Romans2:19, Titus1:15)


Hypocrites claim that eating and drinking certain kinds of food and drink is a great and unforgivable sin. By this poor judgment, they show that they have not yet understood the impurity of their hearts.
Alcohol is, undoubtedly, an enemy to man. Nicotine is one of the great causes of cancer. Television helps in spreading adultery and lies. Pork is said to be harmful to health. Yet Christ declares to us that all these things do not defile a man.
Christ tells us that it is not the kind or quality of our food, or the condition of our hands that affects the soul with moral pollution and defilement. “The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking” (Romans 14:17). Instead, it is sin that defiles a man and makes him guilty before God. The unrepentant are rendered offensive to Him and unfitted for communion with Him. What we eat, if we eat reasonably and moderately, does not defile us. “To the pure all things are pure” (Titus 1:15).
We are polluted, not by the meat we eat with unwashed hands, but by the words we speak from an unsanctified heart; thus it is “your mouth that causes your flesh to sin” (Ecclesiastes 5:6).
The believer, even after being renewed and sanctified, finds in his heart affection to disobedience, mutiny, temptation and impurity. He wants money to provide for his living or to avoid his brothers and friends. Seeking such things may lead him into problems and faults. He finds himself being convicted by his conscience, moaning and crying with Paul, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).
The godly should repent first, and recognize the depth of the impurity in them that they may become humble in Christ, broken-hearted, and poor in spirit. Then they would continuously seek forgiveness through the shed blood of Christ, and obtain perfect sanctification offered to those of a good conscience. But, unfortunately, many do not rely on daily forgiveness, or on their spiritual sanctification that will overcome pride. Instead, they obstruct, by their shallow judgments and hard traditions, those that seek salvation at the hand of Christ. They discourage people from coming to Him in spite of the many revival meetings.
Man is neither saved nor sanctified by keeping the law, but by faith in Christ’s blood only. God is satisfied with a broken and contrite spirit. The Holy Spirit prompts us to humble acts of love, like cleaning the house of our sick neighbor, and paying his debts without his knowledge and without telling anyone about our good deeds.
What defiles a person is that which comes from within. It comes from the heart, the source of all sin. It is the heart that is so desperately wicked, for there is no sin in a word or deed, which was not first in the heart. There, in the heart, is the root of bitterness, which “bears poisonous fruit and wormwood” (Deuteronomy 29:18). It is the inward part of a sinner that is the seat of wickedness. All evil words come forth from the depth of a heart. From a corrupt heart comes corrupt communication.
Dear friend, do you know that your heart is very deceitful? It is the source of your impure dreams, cunning words, and bad deeds. Do you remember your past sins? They are a result of your corrupt character. Know yourself and recognize the source of the impurity dwelling in you. Present yourself to Jesus that He may heal and deliver you and clean you of your sin. You are in a spiritual struggle, do not give up. Watch and pray that you may not fall into temptation, for the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The greatest temptation to the godly is hypocrisy based on false thinking. You cannot be more holy than God. The Holy Spirit will preserve you so that you will not fall to such a temptation.

Prayer
Merciful Lord Jesus, You are more aware of my soul and of my past than I am. Save my soul from hypocrisy and from always thinking of myself. Deliver me into the deliverance of God’s children that I may be sanctified by faith through Your precious blood, to serve the needy with joy. Sanctify me to the uttermost that my heart may not remain a fountain of evil, but a source of love, chastity, and obedience.
Question
What are the evil thoughts and deeds flowing out of the heart, and what is the fruit of the Holy Spirit?