Hung up on tradition, the Pharisees did not eat unless they washed their hands first and they made a big deal about it to Jesus.
Jesus called a crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean' "
The disciples warned our Lord that he offended the Pharisees with such talk. Jesus answered them by saying, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit (Matthew 15:13-14).
Peter wrinkled his brow. "Would you explain that?"
"Don't you see?" said Jesus, "that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean,' but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean' " (Matthew 15:16-20).
Think About It
Do you think Jesus wants us to eat with dirty hands? By no means. He just wants us to know the truth. It's not the tradition of washing hands that makes us pure. It's the condition of our hearts. Now is a good time to observe yours. Do you say what you say and do what you do with the love of God? Do you think good thoughts? Today is the day to begin training yourself to think wholesome thoughts, because the day will come when it will be hard not to think lustfully or maliciously. Don't even get started.
Pray About It
Heavenly Father, guard our hearts, our motives, speech and behavior that we would please you. Help us not to concentrate on what pleases people, but what you would have us do. Amen.