Good things out of the good stored up in him...
This summer, we'll seek to understand Jesus' life and teachings by reading through the gospel of Matthew, complementing the teaching team's focus in their “Jesus Said” series. One of the most profound truths of Christianity is that Jesus was and is God. In order to know God, we can look at Jesus, for, as Paul wrote in Colossians, Jesus is "the image of the invisible God."
Read Matthew 12:22-37
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. All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"
But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons."
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. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
"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 plunder his house.
"Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 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.
"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. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 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. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Here again, many of the people at large at least wondered whether this Jesus might be the Messiah, while a powerful group of religious leaders accuses him of being demonic. What do you think accounts for the difference in opinion between the two groups? Why are the Pharisees so intent on maligning Jesus?
Jesus refutes the Pharisees in part by explaining that good fruit only comes from good trees. Pray that the goodness of Christ would be stored up inside of you, and that good things would be brought up out of you.