The issue in Matthew 15:10-28 is true holiness. Specifically, what constitutes true holiness? Is it strict observance of the law or rituals, as the Pharisees or some church-goers think? After all, the Pharisees were so concerned about obeying God’s law that they wrote countless rules to cover every conceivable situation. It makes me wonder if some government bureaucrats are descended from the Pharisees!
Or perhaps true holiness comes from the heart instead, as Jesus argues. He is right when he says that evil thoughts and deeds come from the heart. One only has to read the comments made by the man behind the terrorist attacks in Norway a few years ago to see that this is true. On the other hand, we only have to look at people such as Mother Theresa or Desmond Tutu, or organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse and our local food banks to see that good thoughts and deeds also come from the hearts of people, especially people who are willing to work for social justice.