Summary: Our words are a litmus test of the condition of our hearts.
A Messiah Who Reads the Heart
Text: Matt. 12:33-37
1. Illustration: My wife Tina is an internal auditor for T. Marzetti. When she walks into a plant to do an audit she can tell a lot about that plant by what she sees. If she finds that the financials, employment records, inventory, and quality control aspects of the plant are good it is an indication to her that the plant is doing well. If she finds that all these aspects are not in order it is an indication to her that the plant is doing poorly. A plant cannot produce a good product if the internal running’s of the plant are not functioning properly.
2. This is also true of people. What we see on the outside is an indication of what is going on inside.
3. There is no greater indication of what a person is like on the inside then by what comes out of their mouths.
a. Words Are a Heart Issue
b. Words Are an Overflow Issue
c. Words Are an Accountability Issue
4. Read Matt. 12:33-37
Proposition: Our words are a litmus test of the condition of our hearts.
Transition: According to Jesus...
I. Words Are A Heart Issue (33).
A. A Tree Is Identified By Its Fruit
1. One thing that is certain about Jesus is that he can read people.
a. He could look into a person’s inner being unlike anyone who has ever lived.
b. He could by simple observation tell you exactly what a person was like on the inside by what he saw on the outside.
2. Another thing that we know about Jesus is that he explained spiritual truths in was that people could relate to.
a. Because he lived in a society that was a strongly agricultural he often used agricultural terms to explain spiritual realities.
b. He took common everyday things that people understood to illustrate what they didn't understand.
3. He puts both of these things together when he says, “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad."
a. He says that a tree cannot produce fruit contrary to its nature (an apple tree cannot produce bananas).
b. A person’s true nature is perceived by how they behave and what they say (France, 485).
c. Therefore, a person’s words are a reflection of what is in their heart and nature.
4. In this context Jesus had a general point and a specific point.
a. Jesus' general point was: "Either I am evil and do evil work, or else I am good and do good work.
b. I cannot be evil and do good work or be good and do evil work" (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 8-15).
c. You cannot be on opposite teams in the same game!
d. If you recall, that's what the Pharisees were accusing Jesus of in our last message from Matthew's gospel. They said he was casting out demons by the power of Satan.
e. That simply doesn't work!
5. However, Jesus also had a specific point.
a. His specific point is that their talking against him is a natural result of what is in their hearts.
b. If we look at the rest of the context what Jesus is really talking about is their words.
c. What he is saying is that their words reflect what is in their hearts.
d. Their accusing him of casting out demons by the power of Satan stems from the fact that their hearts were evil, and their own words prove that fact.
B. Condition of the Heart
1. Illustration: The second most deadly instrument is a loaded gun. The first is the human tongue. The gun merely kills bodies. The tongue kills reputations and oftentimes ruins character.
2. People can tell a lot about you by the words you say.
a. James 3:12 (NLT)
Does a fig tree produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty spring.
b. You cannot tell the spiritual condition of someone's heart by the clothes they wear.
c. You cannot tell the spiritual condition of someone's heart by how they wear their hair.
d. You cannot tell the spiritual condition of someone's heart by the car they drive.
e. But you can tell the spiritual condition of someone's heart by listening to the words they speak.
3. People listen to the words you say.
a. Proverbs 10:19 (NIV)
When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
b. What you say is a reflection upon you.
c. What you say is a reflection upon God.
d. What you say is a reflection upon your church.