Thursday 24 February, 2022

Matthew 12:22-37

22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” 25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 “Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house. 30 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. 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. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

There is a popular saying, “actions speak louder than words”, but here Jesus is reminding us that our words are just as important and directly linked to the state of our hearts…

“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

We often talk about “bearing good fruit” in our lives with regards to the way we live and the things we do, but here Jesus is using the metaphor of “good fruit” in the context of what we speak.

I recognise here that the Pharisees are just speaking lots of rubbish –accusing Jesus of doing miracles by the power of the devil in order to distract and hide from the obvious truth that is before them. They don’t want to acknowledge who Jesus really is and what He is requiring of them, because that would involve humbling themselves and exposing their sinful hearts.

How many times have I done that – made excuses and used distraction techniques to avoid facing what’s in my own heart?

I am on a journey to dig deeper and get to the root of any thinly disguised pride in the form of false words used as smoke-screens to hide behind.

May I know (acknowledge) the truth and speak the truth – for the truth will set me free.

Written by Shelley Witt

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