What Jesus Did! 'Out of Your Mouth!' — Matthew 15:10-11

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. "Listen," he said, "and try to understand. It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth."
— Matthew 15:10-11 NLT

Key Thought

Wouldn't it be nice if we could make ourselves pure simply by eating the right things? Granted, it sometimes is hard to eat the right things. But it's a lot harder for most of us to say and do the right things.

We have all sorts of problems with our speech: We say too much, we gossip, we lie, we take the Lord's name in vain, we exaggerate, we distort, we slander, we wound, we curse, we are crude, we... The list could go on and on because the tongue can get away from us. Part of the problem is that our mouths often let fly what is unredeemed in our hearts. Another part of the problem is that we don't think about what we're going to say before we say it. Still another part is that we do think what we would say to wound, hurt, or get back at someone; then, when we are given the opportunity, we say it.

Purity is an ongoing struggle. Jesus is saying don't make it so simple, so superficial, as just a matter of what you eat — or just "going to church," or just reading the Bible, or just... Appearances are important because others should see Jesus when they see us, but we also need to remember that appearances by themselves are not enough. Our thoughts, words, and actions need to come from a heart committed to Jesus (Ephesians 4:22-24, 6:24) and not worried about measuring up to a human list of religious external practices.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, forgive me for wanting a cheap, quick fix to the problems of my heart's purity. I want you to redeem my heart. So I commit today to avoid what can pollute, putrefy, and poison my heart toward you and your children, and I ask for the power of the Spirit to help me with this commitment. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Psalm 51:10, 17
  • 1 Timothy 4:12
  • James 3:5-12


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Illustration of Matthew 15:10-11 NLT — "Listen,"   ——   "and try to understand. It's not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.