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Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:33-37
The Messiah Teaches on the Heart
1. Battle lines were drawn by the enemies of Christ in Matthew 12:
a. Their traditions are held above the revealed truth (12:1-8).
b. Their unbelief refuses the clear evidence before them (12:9-14).
c. They attribute the power of Jesus to Satan, thus blaspheming the Holy Spirit (12:22-32; Mk. 3:28-30).
2. Jesus turned His attention to teaching on the heart (Matt. 12:33-50).
I. OUR HEART IS REVEALED BY OUR WORDS AND DEEDS, 12:33-37.
A. A Tree is known by its Fruit, cf. Prov. 23:7.
-Identity and acceptability
B. First Clean the Inside (heart)! Ezek. 18:30-31; Jas. 4:8
1. We often start in the wrong place; we try to reform our actions without ever transforming our heart (Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 3:2, 5ff).
a. Outward good that covers up inward sin is foolish and futile, Lk. 11:37-41. Pharisees “appeared” righteous, but their hearts were corrupt. (This warning is for us!)
b. Otherwise, all attempted “good” is worthless, Matt. 12:34; cf. 1 Cor. 13:1-3.
c. We speak from the heart, cf. Psa.37:30-31.
2. Repentance is a deliberate decision of heart toward sin and toward good, Lk. 3:8, 10-14.
3. Clean conduct corresponds to a clean heart, 12:35.
C. Accountability, 12:36-37.
1. Idle: Worthless, no good effect; cf. blasphemy of the Pharisees; cf. vain, profane, vulgar, false teaching, Eph. 4:25, 29, 31; 5:4, 6.
2. Are you ready to tell Jesus why your heart allows you to speak as you do? (To parents, spouse, friends, enemies, etc.)
II. REJECTED SIGNS – EVIL HEARTS, Matt. 12:38-42.
A. How We React to the Miraculous Signs of Jesus Shows our Heart, 12:38. (Testing Jesus, Matt. 16:1, 4)
1. They continually rejected His signs (cf. 12:13-14); Jno. 10:24-25; 11:45-47; 12:37-41.
2. The sign of His resurrection, 12:39-40 (Rom. 1:4).
3. Heart must be prepared through repentance to accept Jesus as the Christ and heed His wisdom, 12:41-42.
III. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PUT INTO YOUR HEART, 12:43-45.
A. The Possibility of Apostasy is Real.
1. “This wicked generation” (12:45): Their repentance was temporary and passing; not enduring (cf. Jno. 5:33-35).
2. Unless the repentant soul replaces the previous sin his heart with good things, evil will return, 2 Pet. 2:20-22.
3. The danger of willful sin, Heb. 10:26-27.
IV. OUR RELATION WITH JESUS MUST BE SET ABOVE EVERY OTHER RELATION, 12:46-50.
A. Relationship with Jesus is Formed and Maintained by Doing the Will of God, 12:48-50.
1. Fleshly family must not take precedent over the will of God and our relation with Jesus (Matt. 10:36-37).
2. Jesus showed no partiality based on family relation, 12:47-48
3. Christ has fellowship with those who do the will of God, 12:50.
4. How? Hearts that are cleansed and given to God!
1. We have a choice: What kind of heart will we have (what kind of person will we be)?
2. To have fellowship with Jesus we must purify our hearts:
a. In order to believe He is the Christ, the Son of the living God (12:40).
b. In order to cleanse our lives from sin and bear good fruit in word and deed (12:35).
c. In order to do the will of the Father (12:50).