Inner Formation of the Heart
Part 2: Jesus Christ's Teaching on the Heart
Jesus Christ taught we always live out what is in our heart.
Luke 6:45: “Good people bring good things out of the good stored up [treasured] in their heart, and the evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up [treasured] in their heart. For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (cf Mt 12:35)
Matt 23:25-26: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” (emphasis added).
Consider these other passages from Jesus’ teaching on the heart:
Matthew 9:13: “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’” (Matt 12:7; reference to Hosea 6:6)
Matthew 12:33: “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”
Matthew 15:8: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
Matthew 23:28: “In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”
Mark 7:21-23: “For from within, out of your hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile you.” (cf Matt 15:19-20)
Luke 12:34: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (cf Mt 6:21)
Luke 16:15: “[Jesus] said to [the Pharisees], ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people highly value is detestable in God’s sight.’” (cf 1 Sam 16:7; see also the contrast made in Lk 18:14)
Our actions flow from what is on the inside. If we do not focus on the source of our outward actions, we will keep battling our external words and behaviors.
[Bible quotations are from the TNIV, unless otherwise noted]
We welcome your comments about this teaching.