October, 19, 2017. Matthew 15, Mark 7.
While the people continue to marvel at how Jesus goes about healing, it is this profound truth that He teaches, in a parable, that should cause all people throughout history to marvel.
Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
When Jesus talks about the heart He is referring to the desires of an individual. Those things that are near and dear to an individual. Jesus’ focus is on those desires that lead to evil thoughts and evil actions. One evil thought and action that He specifically focuses on is something that happens too often in churches today.
Matt 15: 8-9 These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. (also Mark 7:6-7)
In the eyes of Jesus, vain worship is worship that does not change the life of an individual. It does not change what they traditionally (Matthew 15:6) have done in their life. Positively, for Jesus, true worship involves a change in our heart or our desires, and that change leads to a change in actions. Jesus even provides a sample list of some evil actions that will change, beginning with evil thoughts.
Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Most believers will often truthfully admit, “I’m not perfect.” What this admission means is that each week when we take time to worship our Lord, the desires of our heart should change. It may be one desire this week and another next week. As we worship with our lips, we will also worship with our hearts. We are anxious and excited to learn the change the Lord wants to make in our desires and therefore our life. The change He wants to make so we can leave our time of worship not having worshipped with only our lips, but with our hearts.
Before you gather with other believers to worship the Lord, in three days, spend time asking the Lord to help you so that when that time comes it will not be a time of vain worship. Instead it will be “heart worship” whereby you will have a change in your traditional desires, to having His desires for your life.