The way I see it: Jesus challenges us to understand that it is not what we eat that is the problem. What is the problem? The problem is our heart. The problem is what we think, do and say. That is the real pollution in our life.
Jesus is clear: It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness — all these are vomit from the heart in GOD’s world (Kingdom).
What is the big deal? We need to know this about our self so that we can take advantage of Jesus redeeming us from the price we have to pay for what is in our heart. Jesus gives a new heart. Now that is good news.
And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 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.
English Standard Version. (2016). (Mark 7:14–15). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
The bottom line: God’s goal for us is that we have a pure heart. That we have a heart after God. That is the main thing.
- Jesus announced to the whole crowd that the source of holy living is from within, not from without. Actually, He was declaring null and void the entire Mosaic system of “clean and unclean” foods; but at that time, He did not explain this radical truth to the crowd. Later, He did explain it in private to His own disciples.
- But this declaration was surely understood by His enemies. They realized that He was breaking down one of the “walls” that separated the Jews from the Gentiles. Of course, the Law itself was not set aside until Jesus died on the cross, but the principle Jesus announced had been true throughout the ages.
- In every period of history, true holiness has always been a matter of the heart, a right relationship with God by faith. Ceremonial purity was a matter of external obedience to a law as evidence of that faith. Moses made it clear in Deuteronomy that God wanted love and obedience to come from the heart, and not be merely outward obedience to rules.