And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the 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 unwashen hands defileth not a man.Matthew 15:10-20
And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable. And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.Mark 7:14-23
The problem most people have with the doctrine of grace is not that God is sovereign. They do not want to deny that fact. The problem most people have is that they really don’t see how bad a man is without the grace of a sovereign God. Jesus confronts this misunderstanding multiple times in His earthly ministry. In this scene, Jesus once again points out that man has a heart problem not just a bad influence problem.
The situation in this scene is easily understood with a little bit of biology. It is not good to eat poisonous or unhealthy things but, for the most part, God’s design of the human digestive system will purge out any harmful things from the body. We might still get sick or even die but things that enter into the body are not what makes us sinners. We are are alreadycorrupt by our inherited nature from Adam.
Jeremiah tells us the same thing:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?Jeremiah 17:9
This means our very nature is corrupt. Without grace no one would be in heaven. Paul describes the nature of man in his totally depraved condition:
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.Romans 3:10-18
Most of us do not want to admit how horrible we truly are. We want to be in control of our destiny. The problem is we would choose wrong every time if not for God’s mercy acting on us. So, rather than denying the clear Bible teaching on man’s fallen nature, we should acknowledge it and be thankful for this:
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.1st Timothy 1:15