Text: Matthew 12:22-50
Event(s): Jesus is accused of blasphemy; Jesus’ answer to a demand for a sign; Mother, brothers seek audience with Jesus
Matthew 12:25 “every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation” whether it’s kingdoms, homes, cities, families, workplaces, etc. the principle is the same: where there is internal unresolved conflict, the system will self-destruct. The good news is, God has given us everything we need to be peacemakers and His ways, which are truth and life can bring peace into any situation. Though the environments we enter may be electric with the negative energy of conflict, we have the power of God to change the atmosphere.
Matthew 12:32 “but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven” blasphemy is to degrade or reject or to make common what is holy; blaspheming against the Spirit means to reject the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Simply put, to reject Jesus Christ. (c.f. John 16:5-15)
Matthew 12:34 “for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” if we will guard our hearts – we’ll rarely have to worry about what we say. (Of course, there’s a right place, a right time and a way to say things, but I’m referring to the simplicity that being pure in heart brings to our lives.)
Matthew 12:36 “for every idle word men may speak” idle is the Greek word “argos” which means inactive, unfruitful, barren, lazy, useless or unprofitable. An idle word is one that is useless for productive communication. There is a very clear warning here to pay attention to what we are saying, the words we use – not for the sake of the words themselves but because more importantly, they should reveal something to us about the condition of our hearts. And if not dealt with, and we just continue to produce “bad fruit” out of the abundance of our hearts, we are ignoring a very obvious sign and witness of our own condition.
Matthew 12:44 “when he comes he finds it empty” it is not enough to pray that the causes of any affliction would be removed – the complete work of the Holy Spirit is to fill the empty places with the true life of the Kingdom. For example, if we pray for sickness to go, let us also pray for fullness of health. If we pray for depression to go, let us pray for the fullness of joy. Let us speak the life of the Kingdom into every situation.
Matthew 12:50 “whoever does the will of My Father in heaven” Jesus wasn’t showing disrespect to His biological family. But what He was saying is that spiritual relationships do take precedence over physical ones. When we become followers of Christ, we become His adopted spiritual family.
Today’s Takeaway: I’d like to focus back on the issue of our words. Is there something we said recently that bugged us that’s maybe still lingering in the air, or that we still feel a sting from? Are there certain words, or ways of communication that we’ve maybe gotten into a habit of using but that we know we need to change? The key to turning this around is not to focus on outward behavior modification. The key is to come to God in prayer, stop trying to defend why we say certain things and stop trying to justify why we say them, but instead, repent; seeing this as a condition of our own heart and then asking God to reveal to us what needs healing or addressing. Whatever is going on in our heart that is causing us to say certain things, or to process thoughts in certain ways, God can bring order to. He can get rid of whatever doesn’t need to be there so that we stop producing “bad fruit” and He can replace it and fill our hearts with ways of communicating that bring life – to both ourselves and others.
Additional (optional) reading: The parallel accounts of these events can be found in Mark 3:20-35 and Luke 11:14-36 and Luke 8:19-21