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Our Biggest Problem is Right Under our Noses
Matthew 15: 10-20
In Matthew there is a great lesson on the mouth. Let me give what happens prior to today's scripture reading.
In the beginning of Chapter 15 The Scribes and Pharisees say to Jesus that HIS disciples violate the rules handed down by the elders of the past! Why you ask –well, because they did not ceremonially washing their hands before they ate.
Woo-hoo that’s a no no in that time. There was ceremonial washing of the hands before the meal, after the meal and during the Passover meal – in the middle of the meal before the greens were eaten.
And I am not talking about squirting a little soft soap on your hands and rinsing them this was a ritualistic washing of hands.
But Jesus says Listen and grasp and comprehend this: He wanted their attention – this was going to be an important lesson. He says.
It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that makes him unclean and defiled, but what comes out of the mouth; this makes a man unclean and defiles [him].
This is where today's title for the sermon comes from, it is something that Joyce Meyer said at a conference I attended – Our biggest problem is right under our noses. IT’S OUR mouths.
Now Sometimes when a person curses or says something awful we say to them – Do you kiss your mother with that mouth? Perhaps what we NEED to Say is DO you pray to The Father with that mouth? That might be a more powerful reminder to watch the words that come out our mouth.
Then the disciples came and said to Him, Do You know that the Pharisees were displeased and offended and indignant when they heard this saying? Oh my, can you imagine even saying that to Jesus – like he cared what the Pharisees had to say about him. He tells the disciples in Verse 14
14 Let them alone and disregard them; they are blind guides and teachers. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a ditch.
The disciples didn’t get – the Pharisees didn’t get it – I like the next part - Do you not see and understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the abdomen and so passes on into the place where discharges are deposited? Isn’t that a nice of putting it – what goes in comes out.
Jesus then says:
But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him].
19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts. 20 These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him].
Now I am not telling you not your hands – what I am telling you is that we need to sometimes think before we speak. Something I am not good at. I have opened my mouth and inserted foot many times.
We must realize that -
Every word that comes out of our mouths has power in it—creative or destructive, positive or negative. So whether we murmur and complain or give thanks and keep a positive attitude, we are feeding our body, mind and spirit.
The words that come out of our mouth go into our own ears as well as other people’s, and then they drop down into our soul where they will either give us joy or sadness, peace or upset, depending on the types of words we have spoken.
Paul says in Romans 14:19 So let us then definitely aim and eagerly pursue what makes for harmony and for mutual building up of one another.
I once heard it said that an unhappy Christian is an oxymoron. If we are Christians we have so much to be happy and positive about. The choice is ours to make. Choose to be happy and something positive today.