Summary: How did you do this week? Were you a gatherer or a scatterer? Did your life focus on loving the unlovable, touching the untouchable, and caring for the throw-aways; or was your life focused on yourself and your wants, your desires?
Jesus And The Forbidding Pharisees – Part 4
Watch Your Mouth
How did you do this week? Were you a gatherer or a scatterer? Did your life focus on loving the unlovable, touching the untouchable, and caring for the throw-aways; or was your life focused on yourself and your wants, your desires?
Jesus warned us in our lesson last time that there is a war that we are involved in, and we are on one side or the other. If we are not helping Him, then we are aiding the enemy.
How about your tongue? Did you hold your tongue or did you let fly with it? Did you bring soothing comfort to others or did they know just where you stood?
Last time we saw that Jesus is pulling no punches when it comes to Pharisees and their two-faced dealings with the world. We need to stand in that floodlight and let the Word of God examine and probe our ways, showing us where we really stand. Do we stand with Jesus, or do we stand with the Pharisees?
Let’s talk about this honestly for a couple of minutes, shall we?
You see, the reason I began our session together this way is two-fold: first is to reinforce the importance of living-out what we learn here. It is not enough just to come, sing a few songs, listen to the Bible being taught, and then leave and go about our life as if everything is the same.
If we are not changed by being in the presence of God, if a transformation does not begin to take place when we have delved deeply into the Word of God, then we are in very real spiritual danger.
The Spirit of God is at work when worship is happening. If we aren’t affected by it, then something is out of order inside of us. It means we have a heart problem and we need to go to the Great Physician and get it fixed.
The second part is to give us a chance as a body to help and encourage one another. If we are making even tentative steps in the right direction, we need to hear from our fellow disciples words of encouragement to continue on.
If we are walking away from our times together and not applying these lessons to our life, then we need to be gently and lovingly admonished by our brethren and encouraged to move in the right direction. If we are getting it wrong, we need to hear the truth in love from those who love the Lord and love us so that we can allow ourselves to change and to be changed.
So, let’s have a few minutes of honest and open discussion, shall we? How did you do? (If no one opens up on their own, pick one of the maturer believers and ask them very pointedly how they fared.)
Even though our study of this passage is broken up into sections from week to week, this entire series we are studying was a single discourse of Christ’s. This all flowed naturally from one point to another, pitting Jesus against the Pharisees, Heaven against the world, and setting a very definitive course toward a final confrontation.
Last time we studied how Jesus very succinctly condemned anyone and everyone who would knowingly and with malice aforethought credited to Satan what was of the Holy Spirit and credited what was of the Holy Spirit to Satan.
In our lesson today, Jesus goes on to lay His adversaries bare before the world. Remember that in verse 30, He said, “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” That’s why we began our session together the way we did. We need to be looking honestly at ourselves everyday and asking ourselves the question, “Am I for Him or against Him? Am I gathering or scattering?”
We can tell where we stand by the fruit of our life. That is the main thrust of the lesson in today’s passage. Let’s look at it. (Read the passage.)
On a windswept hill in an English country churchyard stands a drab, gray slate tombstone. The old stone bears an epitaph not easily seen unless you stoop over and look very closely. The faint etchings read:
Beneath this stone, a lump of clay,
lies Arabella Young,
Who on the twenty-fourth of May,
began to hold her tongue.
There is another very strong warning in our passage today. “Watch your mouth,” is the lesson here. Your mouth tells everyone – including God – what is in your heart. The point is not to change what the outside is, however – the point is to let Him change our heart.