10When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
Jesus now turned His attention away from the delegation from Jerusalem to the crowd.
When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand:
Turning to the crowd, Jesus now explained the abrogation of current teaching in Israel. Having broken with tradition in a revolutionary way, He used two imperatives (hear, understand) to challenge them to concentrate on what He was about to say. He had a deep distinction to draw. With this, Jesus made a significant shift away from presenting His message to Israel as a nation.
Not what goes into the mouth defiles [renders common] a man;
It is not what a man physically eats that defiles him.
but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
The issue here is not morality but truth or belief. That which comes out of the mouth is false teaching. This statement completely undermined the teaching of the religious delegation (Mk 7:19). “Defiles” carries the idea of renders common. False teaching is not merely neutral; it carries contamination for the soul. False teaching always pollutes the soul; it makes it like a sewer of falsity. The “mouth” is the window of the soul.
What we speak is the window of our soul.
What we say indicates what we think. If our belief system is wrong, jealousy, pride, hostility, hatred, and legalism come out.