Gettng to the Heart of the human problem—
——Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it; if someone rolls a stone, it will roll back on them. A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.
Proverbs 26:23-28 –
Earthenware was basically the common pot made of clay, nothing spectacular there, but through a deceptive layer of silver dross coated on top, it looked valueble. Dross also is not spectacular either but was the impurities of melted metal in the rifining process. What this tells us- talk is so cheap if coming from the deceptiveness of an evil heart. People who want to harm others often will flatter them into a trap, or trip them. Eloquent as some may sound, it is still a chocolate coated chunck of rat poison. A truffle to cause death. Laced delecacies. “Malice may be concealed by deception”
Lets look here:
They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
Jesus knew this better then anyone how people can opperate, he knew that they were flattering him by saying what he would want to hear “Teacher we know you are a man of integrity and you teach the way of God ” and these people failed to see Jesus was already one step ahead of them and knew their hearts.
Lets examine what Jesus already taught before:
—-Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: 8 “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
Matthew 15:1-11 –
The disciples acted clueless as to what Jesus was getting at, but he explained the first importantance of a clean heart.
Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”
The sin of the Pharisees was that of a rotten heart, though outwardly they obeyed the Laws of God, it was drivin by pride, self centeredness, lust for power and prominance and greed. (See Also Luke 16:14-15) and (Matt 23:13-39)
What amazing truths we see in the Word for our time even. There is a religious form of a wicked heart as well as the flat out open rejection of Christ in our days. The Pharisees though strict and religious were on the road to hell not because of what they did as much but how God was not truly the love of their heart and they did all things for show. There are both groups. People who do not know Christ but pretend to be loyal to him, and those who reject the Bible all together and have no interest altogether.
The good news is that Jesus came in the flesh of a man to die for both groups so that those who do believe his Gospel can be made new in their hearts. Be freed from the truest problem of sin living enthroned in the heart. All our actions are a byproduct of what comes from our heart. And only Jesus Christ can cleanse that rotteness out that is by nature lurking in us from day one. We must be willimg though to let him do this.
—-Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile —the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”