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Matthew 15:10-20, Teachings of Jesus (Garbage In, Garbage Out?)

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, ‘Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.’
— Matthew 15:10-11

NL Daily Devotion for Thursday, March 14, 2019

by Daniel D. Maurer, Clergy Stuff


Remember those old, computer punch cards we had to use to enter in a program into a computer? Yeah. I’m getting too old. Maybe you don’t remember them!

For all our readers who are below 30, you used to have to enter in computer commands via a punch card that was fed into a reader. One little hole gets off, the program was fried.

Thankfully, programming doesn’t work like this anymore. But the analogy still holds true that if you don’t feed in good commands to the reader, then the program won’t work. (Garbage In, Garbage Out . . . as the old saying goes).

It might not work like this perfectly in our lives, but Jesus was trying to make the point with those from whom he received so much criticism. The tradition of dietary laws had become meaningless and void of purpose anymore, so Jesus changed the practice (or later Christian communities saw it this way, anyway). In any event, the whole point was that what really mattered to Jesus (and God) was that what comes OUT of a person’s mouth makes a difference to others (and to God).

How can we change our inputs to produce better and more whole “outputs” in our lives?

Earlier Event: March 13
Matthew 14:34-15:9, Teachings of Jesus
Later Event: March 15
Matthew 15:21-28, Little Dogs?