Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Wednesday after the Seventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on July 21, 2021 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Matthew 15:10-20 (NKJV)
15:10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
Humans have a tendency to focus on things that really
do not matter. Especially when that focus can let us ignore something more important that does matter.
In the ancient Jewish ceremonial Law, given by God through Moses, faithful Jews were forbidden to eat certain foods, because that would make them unclean. Foods like bacon and shellfish were forbidden. Jesus’ perfect life and death fulfilled that Law for us, and today we can enjoy pork products, shrimp, and other foods with no fear of sin against the Law of Moses.
But even when that Law was in force, as it was for the Pharisees and for the disciples during Jesus’ earthly ministry, Jesus wants us to understand that what we do is far more important than what we eat. It is not as if anyone but Jesus could keep the whole Law perfectly, but even if we could follow a more minor point of the Law well, we must not place our hope of salvation in keeping the Law. Rather, the Law shows us, as believers, how we can live a life pleasing to God now that we stand in the grace He has shown us in His Son.
Prayer: O God, whose never-failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and on earth, we humbly beseech Thee to put away from us all hurtful things and to give us those things which be profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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