WHAT COMES OUT COMES FROM WITHIN
"There is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man." (Mark 7:15)
All of the Old Testament dietary laws were shadows (or pictures) of spiritual truths which would become realities in the New Covenant. These Pharisees (as well as many Christians today) missed all of the spiritual significance of these laws and saw only the physical act.
The real spiritual meaning that these Old Testament dietary laws symbolized was that we were supposed to be holy (separated) unto God in everything - even what we eat. Under the Old Testament law, it was forbidden to eat or to touch certain animals, not because there was anything wrong with the animals, but it was a command from God to illustrate the point of being separated unto God and to serve as a constant reminder of this separation. Under the New Testament, we see that no animal is, or ever was, unclean in and of itself. The Old Testament designation of certain animals as unclean was purely symbolic, and this is why Jesus could make this statement.
Jesus' statements here refer to more than just the clean and unclean beasts of the Old Testament. He said nothing which enters into a man through his mouth can defile him. Though some try to, this statement isn’t meant to be interpreted as condoning any type of abuse we would like to give our body such as gluttony, drug abuse, etc. Rather, Jesus is simply explaining that the condition of the heart of man should be given preeminence over the physical body. The heart of man controls the body of man, not the other way around. Sin doesn't make our heart corrupt, but a corrupt heart makes us sin. God looks on our hearts, and our cleanliness or defilement in His sight is dependent solely on whether or not we have been made clean in our spirits by the blood of the Lamb. “If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
An evil action begins with a single thought. Allowing our minds to think about and dwell on lust, envy, hatred, or revenge will lead to sin. Don’t defile yourself by focusing on evil. Instead, follow Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
We work hard to keep our outward appearance attractive, but what is deep down in our hearts (where others can’t see) is more important to God. What are you like inside? God wants us to have healthy thoughts and motives, not just healthy bodies.
In Christian love, Andy