Mark 7:14-23

Mark 7:14-23

14 Again Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen to Me, everyone, and understand this. 15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” [16] *
17 After He had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples asked Him about this parable. 18 “Are you so dull?” He asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
*Some versions have “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
Mark 7:14-23

How interesting, what enters a person from the outside cannot defile them. And next for added clarity, if it goes into the stomach then out of the body, and not into the heart it cannot defile them. This clarity is necessary as we will see shortly. Just a few verses later Jesus is very explicit about what defiles a person For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. It is our hearts that defile us because that is where evil thoughts originate eventually leading to action.

Now a question, what about something that enters your mind and heart, not your stomach? Can this defile a person? Yes, it can, especially if one seeks it out. What am I talking about? First there is pornography, written or visual. It can be hard core or what is known as soft pornography. How is recognized, but by the values it promotes. Many romance novels at their heart promote adultery or fornication by falsely making it look beautiful and/or attractive.

Then there are books and movies that promote hate for others. The others can be another faith, another race, another country. From such comes malice, envy, slander, folly, and eventually even murder sometime on such a large scale it results in war.

Jesus make it clear what we should be pursuing and it is love. In answer to a question Jesus said

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40

And also

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:14-15

His apostle to the Gentiles, Paul said it this way

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Galatians 5:6b

If what you watch on TV or in the movies or read online or in books lead you away from these commands and instructions you are putting something into your heart that will bear fruit leading you away from God. Be careful in what you choose to put in your mind and heart.

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Mark 7:6-8