15Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
Peter now reacted to Jesus’ explanation of the opposition of religion against Him, running from verses 10 to 14.
Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this [v.11, what goes in and out of the mouth] parable to us.”
Peter was generally the spokesman for the disciples. The parable to which Peter referred is that religious false teaching was like food that goes in the mouth, then into the stomach, and finally is excreted in a latrine. False doctrine is good for dumping.
So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding?
Peter should have understood Jesus’ teaching because he had enough information to do so. Jesus had no problem with grieving over the inability of His disciples to learn.
Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated [into a latrine]?
Food goes into the stomach for digestion and is eventually eliminated by a bowel movement. What one believes eventually comes out.
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
The “heart” here is not emotion but a person’s orientation to life by what he or she believes. The heart is the nature of the person’s belief.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts [bad thought patterns], murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies [slander].
It is possible for a person to be ceremonially clean but inwardly polluted. By majoring on minors they miss the main point.
“Evil thoughts” are evil schemes.
“Murder” is not identical with “killing” but rather killing not condoned by God. It is right to kill in war or by execution.
“Adultery” is sexual sin with another person’s marriage partner.
“Fornication” is general sexual sin.
“Thefts” is simply stealing.
“False witness” is perjury. It is to tell a lie about someone else.
“Blasphemies” is slander against others. This person seeks to ruin another’s reputation.
These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
These words are almost identical to verse 11.
Extrinsic righteousness is of little value; intrinsic orientation to God’s will is inherently right.
Often the people we deem most righteous or religious are the polar opposite of what Jesus valued. Many do-gooders and philanthropists are horizontally oriented rather than vertically oriented. They value human achievement above God’s operating assets in Christ by grace. External righteousness is more important to these people than adjusting to the will of God.