14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” 
17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.
18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
In this passage, the Lord exposes religious hypocrisy and calls the crowd to true faith. This was not a new concept, but rather a reminder that though people make judgments based on outward actions, God looks at the heart.
This is a good reminder for me. I can easily fall into the trap of confusing purity with religious exercises and obedience to the “rules.” However, true Kingdom activity can only be accomplished when it comes out of a pure heart. If my heart is unclean, then no matter how much I follow the rules – I still won’t be pure before God. So, the question I must ask is: “What part of my heart will I be giving to God today?”
Richard Terherst, Pastor
Harvest Church – Concord