The Weekend Word
A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit
**These next couple of verses are really nothing more than a clarification of the words Jesus is using in V. 31 – 32**
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.
- The fruit is the inner workings of a person.
34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
- Love it – Jesus is using John the B’s words (3 )
- He is accusing the Pharisees of being evil to the core.
35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.
36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
- I think these are words about Jesus – a good man speaks good of Jesus and an evil man speaks bad things about Jesus.
37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
- By our own words we will be justified or condemned.
The Sign of Jonah
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
- “OK, you got us there, now how about a sign?” – I think they were more looking for a magic trick.
- It is not faith that is asking these questions. It is not faith that is asking for a sign.
- This is that obstinate defiance – in your face “we reject you.’
- They won’t take his word, but hey, give us proof.
- Hasn’t Jesus already given them signs? Casting out demons – Healing the sick – Raising the dead – Preaching a word that actually does what it says?
- What are words that do what they say? Matt 9 – “he then said to the paralytic— “Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he rose and went home.
39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
- Just remember, if you go out looking for signs and wonders, you too could be classified as an evil and adulterous generation.
- The sign of Jonah – think about Jonah – he ran away to NOT do what God wanted – Why? Because he did not want them saved.
40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
- What is Jonah in the fish – he is good as dead
- So what is the sign? The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
- This is the Daniel 7 guy with the eternal kingdom – the one that the whole OT has been talking about.
41 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
- The men of Nineveh will rise up … Physical resurrection
- The Ninevites can judge because they repented.
- Huge judgment right in the present.
- One greater than Jonah – we just saw previously – one greater than the temple.
- Much like when we studied Hebrews – one greater than the priesthood, greater than Moses etc.
42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
- And then he throws in this – the Queen of the South.
- Again, people rising up to condemn “this generation”.
- One greater than Solomon – Solomon, the “real” son of David, the writer of God’s wisdom (Proverbs)
- So greater than the temple, greater than Jonah, greater than Solomon – these are fighting words – this is why the opposition is growing against Jesus.
Return of an Unclean Spirit
43 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none.
- Jesus is summing up what happens when the demons are cast out but not replaced by the spirit of God.
- This is not a commentary on demonology or the inner workings of demonic possession.
44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order.
- This is a warning against these people who have rejected him
- This is probably Matthew warning all who read this gospel with hearts that still reject the claims of Jesus.
45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
- You will be worse off than when you began.
- Look what happens when you talk people out of being Mormon’s or JWs who do not become Christians.
- They will just have 7 times the number of demons jump on them.
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers
46 While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him
- (Some manuscripts insert verse 47: Someone told him, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak to you”)
48 But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
- Seems like a funny question.
49 And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!
- An invitation from Jesus to the crowds to follow him a family
- And a rejection to others who think they are related to him by any other reason than they are called to follow him in faith.
50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
- What is doing the “will of my Father”?
- This should not be looked at in any more detail than just a reference to our life of discipleship, living out our vocations and loving our neighbor.