TUESDAY, APRIL 11
SCRIPTURE: Matthew 12
There is so much happening in this chapter, it is impossible to cover even half of it in the space I have available. So after reading and rereading the chapter, I have settled on a section of the chapter that begins in verse 33 and concludes in verse 37.
This section follows an interesting discussion between Jesus and some religious leaders. It seems the religious leaders were convinced that the only way Jesus could be casting our demons is if He were doing it through the authority of Beelzebub (that would be Satan). Jesus literally destroys that argument but when we get to verse 33, He draws this line.
He said to the religious leaders and to us, for that matter, that we need to make up our minds about Jesus. He is either evil and does bad things or He is good and does good things. And the only way to truly decide whether he was evil or good was to evaluate what He did. If He did good things, He had to be good and therefore could not be evil. And the reverse is true. If He did bad things, He had to bad and therefore could not be good.
Then in verse 34, Jesus gives us the ultimate test of good or evil. He said that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. In other words, what was actually in a man was what would eventually come out of a man. The things we say ultimately are evidence of the nature of a person’s heart. If there is bad stuff in us, bad stuff will come out in our words. If there is good stuff in us, good stuff will come out in our words.
Our words, then, are proof of our heart. That’s why on the judgment day we will give an account of every careless word we speak (v.36). The word careless here means useless. So this is not necessarily using bad words. It is using worthless words. Jesus takes it a step further and says it is those words that will either justify or condemn you. But don’t miss the point that it is every careless word. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to talk or talk so much when we do.
The reason our justification or condemnation flows from the words we speak is the words we speak flow from the heart we have. The Bible says “the human heart is the most deceitful of all things and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9) This is the way the Bible views the unredeemed heart, the unsaved heart. That’s why God promises to “give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you”. (Ezekiel 36:26)
As God changes our hearts that necessarily changes our words.