The nature of sinfulness

The reading for today at the One Year Bible Blog includes Matthew 15:1-28. He calls the church leaders "onto the carpet" so to speak for so burying the word of God in rules and regulations that it's virtually unrecognisable. To me, it's very clear that he's saying that what you do is not nearly as important as why you do it. He's not giving free license, of course, but ...

18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. 19 For out of the heart comes evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile. (NRSV)

I think it further instructive that he complains about the Pharasees encourage people not to honor their mother and father, if it builds up the temple coffers. Yet he also, at another point, tells people to leave mother and father, take up their cross, and follow him. (At least, I think that's how it reads. That general idea, anyway) So, in essence, he's encouraging the very thing he charges the Pharasees with! I think this further supports the idea that the intent, much more so than any individual act, is what defines sinfulness.