Have you ever heard the advice: “Follow your heart”, or when pondering a difficult decision, have you been asked, “What does your heart say?”. You probably have.
How does that jive with scripture? Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
What did Jesus say about the heart?
Today in Mark chapter 7, verses 14 through 23, Jesus talked about what it is that defiles a person. Jesus was speaking to the crowd here, and what He said here was new information
He said, “…there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.”
Most of the people in the crowd were Jews, and you can be sure that some who were listening were Jewish leaders, well versed in the Law. And from a very young age, these people were taught that there were certain things that would defile them if touched, among them: a dead body, certain skin diseases, bodily fluids, unclean foods.
In this instance, Jesus is talking about eating foods that some would consider unclean. And He says that what you eat does not make you unclean, or defiled. He says that what comes out of a person is what defiles him.
Later, when Jesus and the disciples were away from the crowd, they asked Him to explain. He said that food doesn’t go into the heart, but into the stomach and then is eliminated. It’s what comes out of the heart that makes a person defiled, because that’s were evil thoughts, murder, sensuality, envy, pride and all sorts of evil things come from.
That’s why Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
The thoughts and ideas we entertain can either help us conform to Jesus or to the world. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”
What are your thoughts centered on? What comes from your heart?