Matthew 12:33-37 (Idle Words and a Person’s Heart)

What “fruit” did Jesus have in mind in Mat 12:33?  See Mat 12:34, 36-37.  What is the implication of Jesus’ words in Mat 12:33 as to why the Pharisees could not speak what is good?  See Mat 12:34.  What sort of tree did Jesus consider them to be?  By referring to them as a “brood of vipers”, from what root-stock did He consider they came?  Cf. Mat 3:7.  In this regard, what is the irony and hypocrisy of their charge against Jesus in Mat 12:24?  Cf. Mat 10:25.  What did He teach would happen to those trees that did not bear good fruit?  See Mat 7:19, cf. 13:40-42,49-50.

What do these verses teach us about the importance of a person’s speech as an indicator of what sort of tree he is in God’s field?  Cf. Jam 3:2-12.  What part of a person that the Lord looks at does Jesus say a person’s speech reveals?[1] Cf. 1Sa 16:7.  In this light, what is the “good treasure” from which a good man brings forth what is good, and what is the “evil treasure” from which an evil man brings forth what is evil?  Cf. Luk 6:45 and contrast Psa119:11 with Mar 7:21-22; see also Psa 77:12, Phil 4:8 and Gen 6:5.  What sort of speech is indicative of good fruit from a good tree and a good treasure, and what sort of speech is indicative of bad fruit from a bad tree and an evil treasure?  See Col 3:16-17, 4:6; Col 3:8-9, Eph 5:4, 4:29 and note: “unwholesome” in Eph 4:29 is the same word used in Mat 12:33 for the “bad” fruit of a “bad” tree.

What does Jesus mean by a “careless” word in Mat 12:36?  Note: the word means literally “not working” and is also translated as idle (Mat 20:3,6), lazy (Tit 1:12) and useless (Jam 2:20).  Considering their religious veneer that typically would have been reflected in their speech, in the day of judgment when rendering account for their charge against Jesus, what excuse might the Pharisees offer that they really didn’t mean anything and certainly meant no harm by what they said?  In fact though, far from being inconsequential, what did Jesus say that even one’s idle words reveal about a person, regardless of his religious trappings?  See again Mat 12:34b.  What does this and Mat 12:36-37 teach us about the consequential importance of every word we speak, and why it is that by our words we will be justified, and by our words we will be condemned?

In this light, what does our own personal speech reveal about us?  What do we chat about, and what does it say about the abundance of our hearts?  Are our words holy and sanctified and full of the things of God, throughout the week and not just for an hour on Sunday, or are they profane and full of the things of the world?  What careless words occasionally slip past our own religious veneer that indicate the true nature of our hearts?  What then should be our continual prayer and pursuit in regard to our speech?  See Psa 141:3; cf. Psa 34:13, 39:1, Pro 13:3, 21:23, Jam 1:26.

Since it is out of the abundance of one’s heart that he speaks, what is the only way to truly bridle one’s tongue so as to have no unwholesome word proceed from our mouths and to be justified and not condemned by our words in the day of judgment?  See Eze 18:31; cf. 2Pe 1:5-8 and observe that “useless” in 2Pe 1:8 there is the same Greek word translated “careless” in Mat 12:36 that means idle.

 


1. Fascinating fact: “Neuroscientists have recently discovered exciting new information about the heart that makes us realize it’s far more complex than we’d ever imagined. Instead of simply pumping blood, it may actually direct and align many systems in the body so that they can function in harmony with one another.  These scientists have found that the heart has its own independent nervous system – a complex system referred to as “the brain in the heart.” There are at least forty thousand neurons (nerve cells) in the heart – as many as are found in various subcortical centers of the brain…. Scientists are discovering that our hearts may actually be the “intelligent force” behind the intuitive thoughts and feelings we all experience.”  http://www.therealessentials.com/followyourheart.html.   “Although it is not well known, the heart sends far more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart and the signals the heart sends to the brain can influence perception, emotional processing and higher cognitive functions.  This system and circuitry is viewed by neurocardiology researchers as a “heart brain”.”  http://www.heartmath.org/research/overview.html.  Consider too: in a developing embryo the heart is formed and begins beating long before the brain is formed.

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