“Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?’ (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles him.'” (Mark 7:18b-20, ESV)
In modern America these days there seems to be a cult that centers on food. There are hundreds of cooking shows and thousands of ads that flood the media that seem to elevate food to divine status with chefs and food gurus as the high priests who call us to come and partake of the food that gives us a vibrant life.
The Jews of Jesus’ day made an issue out of food as well as ritual cleanliness, rules given to them in the Law of Moses. The rulers of the Jews decreed that holiness and godliness were earned by adherence to these rules.
As Jesus addressed the false holiness of the Pharisees the evangelist indicates that with this teaching Jesus declared all foods clean, that is acceptable and suitable for eating. Basically food is important because it nourishes and satisfies. A proper diet keeps us healthy. But food and diet are not the most important things in life: our eternal life is as well as our relationship with God.
Jesus tells us that it it is not what we eat that defiles us, the real inner person. He says that it is what comes out of us that defiles us, works of darkness, sin and evil. That may include, for some, an unhealthy obsession with food, gluttony, as well as a host of other wickedness such as envy, slander, and malice. They not only defile a person but also reveal the evil that is within. Such actions, attitudes, and words reveal that a person is hopelessly defiled and sinful and in need of a Savior. Jesus, the bread of Life, not physical food, is that Savior. We must come by faith to Him to confess our sins, receive His forgiveness, and allow Him to rid us of what defiles and corrupts.