WATCH YOUR WORDS
Matthew 11:1-12:50 October 7 2007
After Jesus sent out the disciples for their first
missionary journey , He continued His ministry.
Topically, Matthew 11 returns to the question of
Jesus’ identity and the response to Him. The
question of John the Baptist (Matt. 11:1-15) is
clear and unequivocal. Was Jesus the Messiah ?
Jesus’ response focused on His works as proof
of His Identity.
The tone change dramatically in chapter 12.
Jesus already had encountered opposition from
religious authorities and had been accused of
blasphemy (Matt.9:3). Two incidents, the plucking
of grain on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:1-8) and the
healing of a man on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:9-13)
being this opposition into sharp relief as Jesus
challenged certain rules concerning the Sabbath.
These twin incidents solidified Pharisaic
opposition against Jesus (Matt. 12:14). He warned
people not to make Him known, apparently because
the time of His sacrifice was not at hand
1. Speaking About God (Matt. 12:22-27)
Matt. 12:22 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. 12:23 All the people were astonished
and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” 12:24 But when
the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub,
the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
12:25 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. 12:26 If
Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then
can his kingdom stand? 12:27 And if I drive out demons by
Beelzebub, by whom do your people drive them out? So then,
they will be your judges.
We must feel the full weight of this charge against
Jesus to understand this text. He had performed a work
of righteousness that could be only the result of God’s
presence and power. Yet the Pharisees ascribed it to evil.
With their words they revealed what was in their hearts,
which is the particular application of this lesson. The
Son of David (Matt.9:27), Beelzebub. (Matt.10:25).
2. Speaking About God’s Spirit (Matt. 12:28-32)
Matt. 12:28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God,
then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 12:29 “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 rob his house. 12:30 “He who is not with me is against
me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. 12:31 And
so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men,
but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.
12:32 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.
To speak a word against the Son of Man means to doubt
His identity, and most people of that day still had
question about this issue. Doubts and questions are
forgivable. The work of the Holy Spirit, however, is
lifelong: and speaking against Him is a lifelong rejection
of the offer of salvation.
That this sin will not be forgiven either in this age or
in the one to come highlights the eternal importance of
our lives. The decisions we make here echo in eternity.
Blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. The
context (Matt.12:24,28,32) suggests that the
“unpardonable sin” was attributing to Satan Christ’s
authenticating miracles done in the power of the
Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29).
3. Speaking with Care (Matt. 12:33-37)
Matt. 12:33 “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. 12:34 You brood of vipers, how
can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the
overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 12:35 The good
man brings good things out of the good stored up in him,
and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored
up in him. 12:36 But I tell you that men will have to give
account on the day of judgment for every careless word
they have spoken. 12:37 For by your words you will be
acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
These verse’s does not outline a plan of salvation.
Again , the context is important. Jesus was addressing
the importance of the speech and warning against
thoughtless and harmful words. While speech that will
save us, it is speech that reveals what is in our hearts;
and that is the focus of god’s judgment.
Jesus was not always meek and mild but often used
harsh rebukes against the most religious people of
His Day. As had His cousin John The Baptist(Matt.12:34).
What did Jesus mean? (Matt.12:31-32) The
Pharisees had seen undeniable evidence that the
kingdom of God had come to them; yet they continued
to resist this truth , ascribing it to evil. Stubbornly,
they rejected the Spirit’s witness to Jesus. Since the
Spirit works to convict sinners, those who are so
spiritually hardened that they no longer can recognize
or respond to His witness cannot be forgiven. They cut
themselves off from the only One who leads people to
repent, and God has no other to reach them.