Jesus Explains What Defiles Us

Text: Matthew 15:1-20

Reflection and Question: Jesus’ teaching here corresponds to Paul’s reasoning in First Corinthians concerning the eating of meat offered to idols. These passages are part of the Scriptural foundation for my full acceptance of GLBT people in the church: It is not what goes into the mouth, dictated by ancient rules, that is important, says Jesus. What is important is what “proceeds from the heart.” It is the “evil intentions” of the heart that defile a person — and the GLBT person is as capable of good or bad intentions as any other person. Which is more important to you, to live according to tradition or the intentions of the heart?

Prayer: Gracious Jesus, we know the Pharisees were trying as hard as they could to be good. And yet You so harshly call them “blind guides leading the blind.” Give us eyes to see as You see so that we may be good shepherds of Your flock. Amen.

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).