Thursday, June 30, 2011

Matthew 15:15-20


15 Peter said to Him, ``Explain the parable to us.'' 16 Jesus said, ``Are you still lacking in understanding also? 17 ``Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated ,? 18 ``But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 ``For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications , thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 ``These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.'' What matters to God is not so much how we act, but why we act; not so much what we actually do, but what we wish in our heart of hearts to do. "Man sees the deed, but God sees the intention."

There is always a natural tendency to externalize everything that is spiritual: 1-The creation of the golden calf 2-Icons and idols out of a variety of religious communities 3-The Pharisaic emphasis upon the externals over the internals.

This is where Jesus took direct aim. He took everything back to the heart of man. Remember, a couple of days ago I mentioned that we tend to build or bring flower pots and planters, while Jesus brings a seed. He is continually saying to us. This thing of salvation? It's internal! This thing of walking righteously before God? It's internal! This thing about religion? It must be internal! You see, Jesus is saying that it's all an INSIDE JOB, because it's all about Him. It truly is JESUS PLUS NOTHING. Nothing can be added to make it any better, but only has the potential to diminish Him.

I'm reminded of the interchange with Jesus: MAN: "Jesus, I have a problem. It's me!" JESUS: "Son, I have the answer. It's me!"