Matthew 15:10-11 - Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean’, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean’.
Most of the spiritual leaders that would hear Jesus speak were too caught up in ‘religious’ thinking to really hear what Jesus was saying. They were stuck on the letter of the law and not the heart behind it. Eat this, not that. Do this, but don’t do that. For them it was all about rules and regulations and not about Loving God.
Jesus set out to change all that. When He heard the people talking about others being ’unclean’ because they did not wash their hands before eating He corrected them.
Jesus wanted the people to understand that it comes down to a heart attitude. “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Jesus said that whatever is in your heart is going to come out. It will be reflected in what you say and do. That is what will determine whether you are ‘clean’ or ‘unclean’. Not your actions alone, but the reason behind the actions.
Jesus actually went as far as to tell us that if we think it in our hearts then we are guilty of doing it. This takes sin to a whole new level. Jesus, however, does not just tell us this and then leave us to fail. He sent a Helper, the Holy Spirit, to come inside us and help us live this out.
So we have freedom in our actions as long as our heart is in the right place. Let Christ make your heart new and allow His Spirit to guide you as you seek God first. Then your actions will be pure.