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.
I have long been fascinated by verse thirty-four above, You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of, as I always considered Jesus calling them a brood of vipers as much as calling them the offspring of Satan. Who is He calling a brood of vipers? The Pharisees who only verses earlier after He had healed a man who was blind and mute while possessed by demons, they accused Him of being in league with the devil.
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.”
There was much more to His reply that preceded the verses for today and I recommend reading them here.
In the paragraph of the verses today Jesus is saying a great deal. In verse thirty-three He is clearly stating you can determine the type of tree – good or bad – by the fruit it provides which He seeks to have His fruit compared to the fruit of the Pharisees. Then in the next verse after calling them a brood of vipers He drives the prior point home saying how can you who are evil say anything good? Whatever they say it will end up not being good! Then He describes their hearts when He states For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Consider where the poison of a viper comes from – its mouth. The same could be said for many men and women, but the poison or rather evil is stored up in the heart. That is unless they are good and have good things stored up in their hearts
Thus we should not be surprised to read that Jesus said 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. As a result we should not be surprised to find gossips and slanderers listed at the forefront of sinners who are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice in Romans 1:29-30.
We should keep this clearly in mind when we consider our own words that come out of our mouths. What do they show about what is stored in our hearts? With the warning from both Jesus and Paul (gossips and slanderers) we cannot fall back on “They were only words.” No they show what we have stored in our hearts. What have your words shown lately?
It’s Monday and I hope you have a Great Week remembering what you learned on Sunday and are putting those words into practice.