Mark 7:20-23 (NLT)
20 And then he added, �It is what comes from inside that defiles you. 21 For from within, out of a person�s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.�

In this passage Jesus was spoke to the crowd in response to a question asked by the religious leaders that were present, ��Why don�t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.� In response Jesus said, �All of you listen,� he said, �and try to understand. It�s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.� Then Jesus went on to list those things that defile a person that come from one�s own sin nature.

The Pharisees were worried about touching anything that was ceremonially unclean. They had rituals and rules for how everything should be deal with because they thought it might bring sin upon them. This was far from the truth. For Jesus pointed out it was not those things outside of man that defiled man, but instead the sin nature that lurks in the hearts of men. There is no one on this earth who does not have the potential to commit the acts of sin listed above. King Solomon gave us this word of wisdom in Proverbs 4:23, �Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.� Just think about the sins listed above the consequences that follow if one of those sins are committed. Each of those sins can have a great impact upon a life and will change the course of one�s life. For the person who murders they may find themselves in prison for a lifetime. For the person who deceives they may never be trusted. For the person who commits adultery they may lose their family and respect of others. Sin can impact your life greatly. Fortunately Jesus frees us from the bondage of sin and provides grace and mercy for what we may or might do. We may face earthly consequences for sin, but Jesus has forgiven us and made our sins right with God. Place your faith in Jesus and know He loves you.