Deep Dirt

Contrary to the Pharisees, who worried about ritual defilement resulting from contaminated food entering the mouth, Jesus cared more about real damage caused by uttering foul words.Even more, He located the source of our moral uncleanness deep within us, in the heart -our motives, desires, thoughts, intentions, and emotions. From the depths of our personality proceed an unruly throng of wicked attitudes and actions. “Evil thoughts” lead to evil works and words, so He mentions them first. Then Jesus refers to four of the Ten Commandments, mentioning sexual sins twice. “Blasphemies” could include malicious or defaming words against either God or other men, and bring us back to the defilement caused by comes out of our mouth. Who can even glance at this list without shame? “Who can say, ‘I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin’?” (Proverbs 20:9). Indeed, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Our only recourse is to cry out with David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10).