“Hey, you all in the back, let’s talk about something else!” If it’s been a long time since you took care of kids, you’ve probably forgotten how quickly the subject can become potty talk with the giggles and laughter. Adults need to be careful not to judge too quickly because one of the most frequently used four-letter words centers attention in the same place. Now if we want to keep Jesus locked up in the gorgeous stain glass of a cathedral, then we won’t even entertain the thought that he could drive home a major point about the source of real human filth, and it wasn’t what comes out after eating a good meal. Listen!
After Jesus had the heated discussion with the Pharisees and the Jerusalem legal experts exposing how they trumped the 5thcommandment with their man-made regulations based on their own traditions—traditions that led to the abuse of elderly parents—Jesus summoned the people around him again. He had some straight talk about food, where it ends up, and why religions that made a big deal about what foods to eat or not to eat were missing an obvious point.
“Again Jesus summoned the crowd and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing outside a man that he takes inside can make him defiled. But it’s the things that come out of him that defiles him.’
Then leaving the crowd, he entered the house, and his disciples asked him about the puzzle he had presented to the crowd. Jesus answered, ‘Are you senseless too? Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can defile him? It doesn’t’ enter his heart but into his stomach and then out into the toilet.’ (By this statement Jesus declared all foods clean.)” Mark 7:14-19
It’s amazing how we still continue to locate evil outside ourselves in material stuff—food, drink, sound, color, etc. One of the dominant techniques used in religion is for authorities to decide what stuff is dirty and what’s clean. Then they can instruct us to eliminate certain things from our diet and we naively think we’re good. We need to remember that these religious authorities who were all uptight about the fact that Jesus’ disciples, who didn’t wash their hands right or didn’t maintain kosher laws like the religious experts thought they should, were also the guys devising plans to take out Jesus.
We all need to take a hard look at Jesus’ clear statement that food simply comes into our body, is processed for energy, and then the refuse is dumped. Jesus’ Father created us, and though kids don’t need to make it their constant focus of attention and as adults we shouldn’t use it to curse all our foibles, the biblical Jesus used the toilet to prove that food laws had absolutely no power to deal with what lurks within. And we’ll let Jesus tell us tomorrow what he sees inside our hearts.
LORD, whether to eat certain foods and whether or not to associate with folks who ate different food almost divided the early church and these cultural traditions are still effective in stopping your children from connecting and eating together. Use Jesus’ teaching that declared all foods clean to help us have a balanced view toward your good gift of food.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!