Monday 9 September 2013

Matthew 12:22-50 - Good and bad fruit

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Extraordinary miracles demand extraordinary explanations (Matthew 12:22-50). Jesus heals a man who was both mute and blind. This is so astonishing that the crowds are saying, "Might this man be the Messiah?" The Pharisees, based on the same evidence, are convinced he must be from the enemy.

And Jesus' answer is both shrewd and hard to dispute. He suggests the Pharisees are like bad trees, they produce bad fruit. As they are not with him they can only be against him. They are speaking not only against Jesus but also against the Holy Spirit.

So now some of them come and tell him that they need a sign from him.

Even Jesus' family become illustrations to clarify the truth. "The people who do the Father's will are my family", he says.

How do you feel about all this, are there ways for us to follow Jesus here?

One thing we can do for sure - we can strive to be people who will bear good fruit and we can endeavour to do the Father's will. It's not in our own strength or ability to succeed in such things, but if Jesus himself is in us and has filled us with the Holy Spirit, then we will bear the fruit of the Spirit as evidence of that new, inner life.

Can we also regard ourselves as "sent"? Jonah was sent to the people of Nineveh. How did they respond? Why did he become angry? Jesus was sent among us in just the same way. Are we not sent to reach the lost people living around us? What are we going to do about it?

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