Lips that praise/lips that curse

claire musters

general-background

Reflections based on Matthew 15:1–20.

‘What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.’

Here Jesus is challenging the Pharisees and teachers of the law that had come to Him to try to trip Him up. He closely reflects what is said in Isaiah 29:13: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.’

What Jesus was trying to get across to them was that worship is not about just paying lip service. He explains that it is what comes out of a person’s lips that makes them unclean because it is out of the overflow of his heart that a man speaks. This is a sobering thought and prompts me…

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