Parables About Dealing with Sin

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Sun, Jan 31, 2021

Teacher: Evan Miller Series: Memes of the Bible Scripture: Matthew 15:10-20 & Matthew 7:1-5

JANUARY 24, 2021

Memes of the Bible

PARABLES ABOUT OUR SIN


Jesus gives us parables to help tackle these really difficult topics to address in our lives. It’s sort of like a 101 course, and intro to our hearts. It slides under our defenses and makes us vulnerable to listen!

So what’s our parable for today?

Matthew 15:10-15
10 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.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides.[a] If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”
15 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.”

Entering into the first part of the passage we know from Mark’s account of this event that the Pharisees had asked Jesus why his disciples don’t wash their hands before they eat, and so this conversation happens.
 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
 
So the pharisees say: the sin is when you do not wash your hands before you eat. Or, eating pork or shellfish, or anything “unclean” is the sin.
 
Jesus says that sin is something deeper. It is the attitude of your heart.

Matthew 15:16-20
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.”

Jesus is naming symptoms of a heart not right with God. The pharisees made the mistake of calling a symptom (at best a lame one) of a heart not right with God the source of the uncleanliness towards Him. We can try our hardest to fix the symptoms but we won’t even be scratching the surface of our hearts.
Jesus came to do so much more than make us better people.
Jesus had a mission directly against the grain of the “self improvement” gospel. Jesus was not on earth to correct behavior, he was there to touch hearts and make them clean. Out of a clean heart comes what?

Colossians 3:12-14
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

But what is more important than the symptoms of our hearts is the nature of our hearts, and that is what God sent Jesus to change.

So how do you deal with your sin.
 
Jesus said that those actions are what defile us, and they do. The list in Matthew 15 is a list of SINS. And we need to deal with the sin with ferocity.
But Jesus said that out of our HEARTS come these actions, not vice versa. So Jesus is making it clear that our hearts are the thing in need of attention first, before we try and change any BEHAVIOR in our lives we need to change our HEARTS.
Once we have a relationship with Christ our heart is clean, but we are still in this flesh, and they are going to war with each other. And when we have to start fighting against that list earlier, we have to go hard.

Matthew 5:29
29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

When our hearts have been clean, the things of the flesh become abhorrent to us and we work like crazy to get them out of our lives. Dealing with sinful behavior looks like this:

1. identifying your sin,
2. Confessing your sin in the presence of other believers (a life group or discipleship partner)
3. And being accountable to them as the two or more of you confront sin daily and choose through the power of the holy spirit to live differently.
4. Then Jesus will honor your decision to live differently and empower you to change.
 
 
When we’re in this fight we have the power of testimony to those watching. Will we be like the pharisees or will we be like Jesus?

Matthew 15:12-13
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides.[a] If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

When we focus our fight against sin on the actions, not the heart, we fall into the same rut as the pharisees, and we don’t want to be like blind guides leading the blind! If we follow that same mindset even further we may fall into the category Jesus describes as hypocritical.

Matthew 7:1-5
1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

You see, when we believe that my hand washing ability makes me better than you with your terrible habit of forgetting to pray before you eat I miss the point.
Every sin is a speck in your brother or sisters eye, when it comes to comparing their sin to yours. Because that is something WE ARE NEVER MEANT TO DO.
DEAL WITH YOUR OWN SIN. That is your calling.
 
But publicly as believers we have to proclaim God’s moral standard as well. In a loving way we can confront the world with that standard, as much as possible. We need to proclaim that standard so we are confronted or reminded by the fact our hearts are in sin.
Introduce people to the one who took you from washing your hands to purifying your heart. And let Him do that for them, and love and support them along the way.

Connection Card

  1. I will focus my fight against sin on my heart first, then my actions

  2. I will bring up in discipleship this week my fight against my flesh

  3. I will work on not judging other’s sin as better or worse than my own.

 

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