Matt 12:34                 A Generation of Vipers Seeks For a Sign                    10/14/2007    ßà   

 

#1.       Overview of Matt 12 (Mic 7:18, Matt 12:7,12,24,31,38, 11:5, John 18:36, Matt 12:45,21,23,29)

 

 

 

#2.       Three Parables (Matt 12:33-37, Rom 3:10, Eph 2:3, Matt 7:13, Prov 14:12, 16:25)

 

 

 

A.   Man Does Have a Will (Matt 12:36-37, Rev 22:17, John 7:37, 5:40, Ex 23:28)

 

 

 

B.   Man’s Will Is Not Independent (Matt 12:33-35, Mark 7:20-23)

 

 

 

C.  Man’s Will Is in Bondage (Matt 12:34, Jer 13:23, Psalm 58:3-4, John 6:44, 8:34-36, Rom 8:7-8, 9:16, 2Tim 2:26)

 

 

 

D.  Man’s Will Is not His Hope (Matt 12:33, John 3:3, 1:13, Phil 2:13, Tit 3:5)

 

 

 

#3.       The Unpardonable Sin (Matt 12:34,24,32, Mark 3:28-30, Matt 12:38)

 

 

 

#4.       Have We Been Made Willing? (Matt 12:46-50, 1John 5:13)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 12:7 (2X). We are continuing our travel through the Gospel According to Matthew, one chapter a week. We are seeing that God is finished with calling the nation of the Jews “His Favorite People”. Last week we have seen that the Lord Jesus pronounced a curse on the people whom He called “this generation”, and we have seen that “this generation” refers to those of the nation of the Jews who remain unsaved. Most of the Jews remained unsaved, for only a remnant chosen by grace would be saved. This week we will see that the Lord calls these same people “an evil and adulterous generation”, and He calls them also “a generation of vipers”. Therefore the title of the present sermon is A Generation of Vipers Seeks For a Sign (2X). Let us first get a good overview of the subject matter in this chapter.

#1.       Overview of Matt 12 (Mic 7:18, Matt 12:7,12,24,31,38, 11:5, John 18:36, Matt 12:45,21,23,29)

Mt 12:7  But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

We read here in Matt 12:7 about a fundamental characteristic of God. Our God says of Himself in Mic 7:18 that He delights in mercy. The Pharisees criticized the Lord Jesus that His disciples were eating raw grain from the field on the Sabbath. But the disciples were hungry. Therefore the legalism of the Pharisees was a hindrance to God in acting out His mercy. The next event takes us to the synagogue of that city where there was a man with a withered hand. And Jesus asked if one of their sheep would fall into a pit on the Sabbath, would he pull it out on the Sabbath? It was a rhetorical question. And then the Lord Jesus said in Matt 12:12, “How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days”. You see, this is the bottom line: “it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days”, because our God delights in mercy. That is why the Lord Jesus healed this man on the spot. Some time later the Lord Jesus healed someone who was blind and dumb and possessed by a demon. Then we read the response of the Jews in Matt 12:24, “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils”. This was a very evil accusation. They had absolutely no evidence to back up this accusation. We see here that the Lord Jesus performed one miracle after another. The next event takes us in front of the scribes and Pharisees who asked Jesus a question. Matt 12:38, “Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee”. Why were they asking for a sign? Let us review what was going on here. The Lord Jesus performed thousands of miracles. The Lord said to the disciples of John the Baptist, in Matt 11:5, “The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them”. But all these signs and wonders were not good enough for the scribes and Pharisees. They were asking for another kind of a sign. They wanted a Messiah who will drive the Romans into the Mediterranean Sea and who will then establish an earthly kingdom for the Jews. Now, this is a great warning to those in our days who are looking for an earthly kingdom of the Jews with Christ reigning from Jerusalem and lasting a thousand years. We must remember that the Lord Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). All this searching for an earthly kingdom shows the utter depravity of mankind, for it is the objective of Satan to establish an earthly kingdom, but not Christ. And to show the wickedness of their request, the Lord Jesus told them a parable of a man who by his own strength cleans up his house, referring to the nation of Israel who attempts to clean up their own life by obeying the Law. But evil spirits enter into this cleansed house:

Mt 12:45  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

And now the Lord calls this nation of unbelievers a “wicked generation”. Could there be stronger evidence that the Lord is finished with this nation of legalists who stubbornly hangs on to the Law of Moses, but refuses to believe on the Lord Jesus as their Messiah? But look now at the contrasts, for this chapter also shows the contrasts with those who do believe on Jesus. We read in verse 21 (2X),

Mt 12:21  And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.            (We have here a quotation from Isa 42:1-4.)

In other words, not only the remnant of the Jews will trust in Jesus, but also the remnant of the Gentiles from all the nations of the world will trust in Him. We see that the unbelieving Jews did not believe the signs and wonders that Jesus did were pointing to His Messiah-ship, but those who put their trust in Him said in Matt 12:23, “Is not this the son of David?” And then the Lord Jesus indicated that He is responsible for drawing these people to Himself at the cross, when He said in verse 29 (2X)

Mt 12:29  Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

At the cross the Lord Jesus bound Satan, the strong man, and plundered his house by saving all those whom He intended to save out of Satan’s house. In overview, what we see developing in this chapter is that Jesus pointed out the utter depravity of mankind who were not satisfied with all the evidence that the Bible has in showing us Jesus as the promised Messiah, but they want more proof, and more signs from God that this is indeed so. The Lord calls them a “wicked generation”. To show their state of depravity, and that they could be saved only by the grace of God, the Lord told them:

#2.       Three Parables (Matt 12:33-37, Rom 3:10, Eph 2:3, Matt 7:13, Prov 14:12, 16:25)

Mt 12:33-34  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.            O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Mt 12:35-36  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.    But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

Mt 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

The first parable is that of man as a tree, which has roots and fruits. This parable is addressing man’s nature, his soul, which is either good or corrupt as is evidenced by the fruit of the tree. If the root is good, if the man’s soul is good, then his fruit is also good; but if the root is bad, if the man’s soul is bad, then his fruit is also bad. Now, we need to harmonize this with other teachings from the Bible. We must realize that we all started out as bad trees, for God says in Rom 3:10, “There is none righteous, no not one”, and God says in Eph 2:3, “We all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others”. The second parable is that of a man who has a treasure chest, who brings out of his treasure chest either good things or evil things. This parable addresses man’s character, which is affecting his works, which will be either good works or bad works depending on the nature of his treasure chest, which in turn depends on the nature of his soul. If his soul is good then his works will be good; if his soul is bad then his works will also be bad. The third parable is that of a stream from an overflowing fountain, actually referring to a stream of words. This parable is hidden in verses 34, and 36 and 37, and is actually referring to the false accusations from the Jews leveled at the Lord Jesus. This parable addresses man’s condition leading to his destiny, which is either Hell or Heaven. Evil men are on the broad way to destruction (Matt 7:13), or on the way that seems right unto the natural man (Prov 14:12, 16:25), or you might have heard me say often “They are without escape on a slippery slide into Hell”. These three parables lead to Four Conclusions concerning the depravity of mankind, and concerning the way God saves people out of this wicked mass of mankind. Let us now consider in more detail these three parables with their four conclusions. The first conclusion is:

A.   Man Does Have a Will (Matt 12:36-37, Rev 22:17, John 7:37, 5:40, Ex 23:28)

This is true. Man’s will is free in the sense that he selects his own thoughts, or his words, or his actions. But we should also realize that man’s will is inclined to do evil. And so, it is in this sense that man’s will is free. Evil men sin voluntarily. As you can see from these 3 parables: No one ties the bad fruit to the branches. No one takes the evil treasures out for you. No one forces you to speak those evil words. Therefore, having a will is a necessary ingredient in making man accountable for his sins. And we must be careful to use the word “accountable” and not to use the word “responsible”. There is a great error floating in many Christian churches today. They say, “God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility are in effect at the same time”. This leads to many contradictions and eventually to the doctrine of Arminianism. We are not response-able, for we are not able to respond to the Gospel-call. Only God can make us able to respond. But if we die unsaved we are held accountable for every idle word and work as is clearly stated in Matt 12:36. We should also realize that in the Scriptures God appeals to man’s will. This is clearly seen in Rev 22:17, where we read,

Re 22:17  And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

The Gospel call goes out into all the world. This is also seen in John 7:37, where the Lord Jesus

said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink”. But the Lord Jesus also said in John 5:40, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life”. It shows the utter depravity of mankind that man chooses not to come to Jesus. That is also what we are seeing here throughout this chapter of Matt 12. Out of envy the scribes and Pharisees were seeking all kinds of excuses for not following Jesus. But they were making these decisions out of their own free will. God does not force people to do anything against their will; but by His outward providence and by His inward working of grace God helps people make up their minds. For example, we read in Ex 23:28, “And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee”. And so, God did not make them go, but He made them willing to go. And thus, an essential part of our doctrines of grace is that “Man does have a will”. Next we must recognize that:

B.  Man’s Will Is Not Independent (Matt 12:33-35, Mark 7:20-23)

This is the key in Jesus’ teachings. Man’s will is not independent from the rest of his being. Man’s will is not neutral. For example, in Arminian teaching man’s will is neutral; it can swing either to doing good or to doing bad. But that is not the teaching of the Lord Jesus in Matt 12:33, where we read,

Matt 12:33  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

In these three parables the heart, or the soul of man is represented by the roots of the tree, or by the treasure chest, or by the fountain. In other words, bad roots will produce bad fruits; a bad treasure chest will produce bad works; a bad fountain will produce evil words, which lead to condemnation. Matt 12:33 clearly shows that man’s will is not free to choose or to do whatever is good or bad. And in Matt 12:34 the Lord clearly says, “how can ye, being evil, speak good things?” A man’s will is not sovereign; it cannot make decisions independent of the rest of that man. His heart or his soul really holds the controls of everything that man wants to do. Man’s will is not neutral; you are free to be yourself, but you are not free to be someone else. If you hate liver, you are not gong into a restaurant and order liver and onions. If a lion has the choice between a side of beef or a pile of hay it will always choose the side of beef. And so we conclude that what you choose does not determine your moral character. Your moral character determines what you choose, because your will is not free. Why are men so evil? It is not because their neutral will chose to be evil, but because their heart is evil. For example, listen to what the Lord Jesus said in Mark 7:20-23,

Mr 7:20  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,    Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

Mr 7:23  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

And so, an essential part of our doctrines of grace is that man’s will to choose, or to do good or evil, is not independent, but it depends on what is in his heart. Next we must recognize that:

C.  Man’s Will Is in Bondage to Sin (Matt 12:34, Jer 13:23, Psalm 58:3-4, John 6:44, 8:34-36, Rom 8:7-8, 9:16, 2Tim 2:26)                         Man’s will is not bound by God to sin, but it is bound by man’s own depraved nature. A viper is still going to be a viper. Look again at the words of verse 34: 

Mt 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

The unbelieving Jews were called “a generation of vipers”. They are unable to speak good things. The Arminian theologian is boasting of his “own free will”, but his will is in bondage to sin. His will is only free to sin, and that is all the freedom unsaved man possesses. In other words, the Lord Jesus said to the Jews, “You are able to choose your words, but your will is not free to choose good words, because you are not good. You are vipers”. The Lord Jesus is in Matt 12:34 defining the concept of “Total Depravity”. Let us listen to other parts of Scripture where this concept is spoken of. Jer 13:23,

Jer 13:23  Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Just as impossible as it is for a black man to change his skin, and just as impossible as it is for a leopard to change his spots, so it is equally impossible for a natural man to do good, for the natural man comes into the world totally conditioned to do evil. Not only these unbelieving Jews are compared to vipers, but every person who comes into this world and is still unsaved is compared to a poisonous snake. God says in Psalm 58:3-4,

Ps 58:3  The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;

Who are these wicked babies? Except for the Lord Jesus and John the Baptist, every baby that is born comes into the world as a liar, for God says that their first scream is a lie. And from thereon their accumulation of lies increases every day. They are compared to poisonous serpents, and to a deaf adder, which is another very poisonous serpent that cannot be tamed because he is deaf. In fact, man is so enslaved to doing evil and bound for Hell that only the grace of God and the mercy at the cross of Christ can put a stop to this vicious circle. The Lord Jesus said in John 6:44,

Joh 6:44  No man CAN come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him:

Because of our inherent wickedness, no man is able to come to Jesus unless the Father draw him to Jesus. But of our own, like the Pharisees, we would not want anything to do with Jesus. And so, since man’s will is not independent of the condition of his soul, in our unsaved state we considered Jesus an enemy who should not be followed. Of course our attitude toward Jesus was influenced by Satan, because we have made ourselves slaves of Satan. It takes only one sin. The lord said in Joh 8

Joh 8:34-35  Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.                And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

Joh 8:36  If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

It takes only one sin, such as the lie immediately after our birth, to make us servants (Lit: slaves) of sin. And the only way to set us free from this bondage to sin and Satan is by the payment of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. It is impossible for anyone of us to do anything pleasing to God so that He as a reward will set us free from this enslavement to sin and Satan. We read in Rom 8:7-8,

Ro 8:7-8  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.                So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

The carnal mind is the mind of the natural man. By nature we refused to be subject to the Law of God. Since our will is not independent of the condition of our soul, and since our will was in bondage to sin and Satan, we were unable to do anything that pleases God. Only God can put a stop to that.

Ro 9:16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

It is only the mercy of God that can release us from this yoke of bondage. All the credit goes to God if it comes to pass that we turn to Christ, for it does not depend on our will, but on the will of God, for our will was in bondage to sin and Satan. God describes how much our will was in the power of Satan in 2Tim 2:26, where God says, “who are taken captive by him at his will”. How does Satan do this? He sets before us the inducements to evil, and we fall for it.

This doctrine of the Total Depravity of natural man is unacceptable to those who hold the Arminian theology. They say that if God holds man responsible for believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, then God would also have given us the ability to respond to this call of the Gospel. But they would have to argue with Jesus on this matter, for the Lord clearly says in Matt 12:34 that “Accountability Does Not Imply Ability”. “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?” They are unable to speak good things, yet in verses 36 and 37 they are held accountable for their bad words and they are held accountable for not having spoken good words of the Lord Jesus. “Accountability Does Not Imply Ability”. We can see this principle clearly throughout the Scriptures. Lazarus did not have the ability to respond to the call of the Lord Jesus, for Lazarus was dead. But Jesus gave him the ability to get up (John 11:43). The man who had been lame for 38 years did not have the ability to stand on his feet. But Jesus gave him that ability (John 5:8). The man with a withered hand did not have the ability to stretch forth his hand. But Jesus gave him that ability (Matt 12:13). And so, we clearly see that the Total Depravity of the natural man makes him unable to respond to the Gospel call, and yet at the judgment throne on the Last Day he is held accountable for not having believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. And the occasion for the Lord Jesus to teach this important doctrine was the blasphemy of the scribes and Pharisees to accuse the Lord Jesus of casting out demons by the power of Satan. Here is another example whereby God works through the sins of man to accomplish His goals. We need to see also, however, that the total depravity of the natural man, who is called a sinner from birth, is at the moment of salvation replaced by the royal priesthood of the saints, who are no longer called sinners, but saints. Let us now hear the 4th conclusion from these 3 parables:

D.  Man’s Will Is not His Hope (Matt 12:33, John 3:3, 1:13, Phil 2:13, Tit 3:5)

Since man’s will is in bondage to sin, and since the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9), our heart cannot be trusted. Therefore our will to believe on the Lord Jesus cannot be trusted. Our will is not our hope of eternal life. If we have made a decision to believe on the Lord Jesus, that decision cannot be trusted, for man’s will is not his hope. Your will cannot change your character, and therefore you cannot trust your “decision for Christ”. That is something that you DO, and we cannot be saved by any work on our part. The Lord Jesus said in Matt 12:33,

Mt 12:33-34  Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

How is the bad tree made good? How are the roots made good? How is the heart made good. The heart is not made good by making a decision for Jesus. Only by God’s initiative can our heart be made good. In other words, we need a transformation from bad to good. We need to be “born from above”. The Lord Jesus said in John 3:3, “Except a man be born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God”. This has nothing to do with our will, but it has everything to do with God’s will. God  says in John 1:13, that those who become the sons of God “Were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”. Only those who were born of God are saved and become the sons of God, and not those who were born of Jacob as their forefather, and not those who by their own free will made a decision for Jesus, and not those who were baptized because their father or their minister insisted on that ritual. All those churches and denominations who rely on the will of man in some way or form contributing to salvation, show by their actions that they have in fact departed from the true faith, and have become “a works gospel”. All the churches who preach a salvation by your own free will are not saving anyone, for the true God will not honor a commitment made to a false god, for a works gospel is nothing else than the worship of a false god. Only if we have been born from above are we set free from our sins, and are we set free to worship the One true God, and are we set free to do any works that are called good in the eyes of God. God says in Phil 2:

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

And even though none of our works is absolutely perfect in the sight of God, which means that sin cleaves to every one of our works, if we have been saved then the atonement of Christ causes our works to be perfect in the sight of God, for we are His children and all our sins have been taken care of at the cross. And so, our confidence in our salvation, or our hope of eternal life, is not in something that we DO. We are helpless. Our confidence is in the grace of God. His grace must make us willing. His grace must make us see that God has done a miracle in our soul. Only then do we have hope. God speaks about this regeneration in Titus 3:5,

Tit 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

God emphasizes that we are not saved by any works of righteousness which we have done. To take the action of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ is a work. If we have been saved it is a work of righteousness. If we have not been saved it is an insult to God. But God states here that no work ever so noble, as it may be called a work of righteousness, shall contribute to our salvation. Instead it is only according to His mercy that He saved us. And how did He save us? He saved us by the washing of our sins at the time of our regeneration and the renewing of our souls by God the Holy Spirit. But before regeneration could take place, the Lord Jesus Christ must have paid for all our sins on the cross, for only then are we eligible to receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Only then are we made spotlessly clean by the washing of our sins that Christ paid on the cross. Only when we have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, are we called saved, and are we called saints. Let us now look at another aspect of Matt 12:34.

#3.       The Unpardonable Sin (Matt 12:34,24,32, Mark 3:28-30, Matt 12:38)

Mt 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Who is the Lord Jesus speaking to? We have to go all the way back to verse 24,

Mt 12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

Who is Beelzebub? In verse 26 the Lord Jesus identifies him as Satan. And thus, when we read in verse 34 that the Pharisees, being evil, are not able to speak good things of Jesus, and we hear their blasphemy, then we also hear that they speak out of the abundance of their heart. Then the Lord makes a statement about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. He says in Matt 12:32,

Mt 12:32  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

What is this blasphemy of the Holy Spirit? We can see this more clearly when we turn to the Gospel According to Mark. Please turn to the Gospel According to Mark, Mark 3:28 (2X). We have here the same event described, but here it lists that the scribes are making this blasphemous accusation of Jesus. And thus, when we combine the two passages from Matt and from Mark, we know that both the scribes and the Pharisees were guilty of this blasphemy. We read in Mark 3:28-30,

Mr 3:28-29  Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:                But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

Mr 3:30  Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

And so, here is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit specified in verse 30, “Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit”. The scribes and Pharisees believed that the Lord Jesus was operating under the authority of Satan. This was their blasphemy. The Lord Jesus identified it as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which means that the scribes and Pharisees who truly believed that Jesus was a messenger of Satan, could never be convinced to put their trust in Jesus, for they would not want to be joining up with Satan. Out of the abundance of their heart they made this statement about Jesus, and thus they really believed in their heart that He was a messenger of Satan. But the fact of the matter was that they were the slaves of Satan, and not Jesus. This became evident again when they asked the Lord Jesus for another sign in Matt 12:38. And then the Lord Jesus called them an evil and adulterous generation. Please turn again to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 12:46 (2X). The question at hand becomes now more personal:

#4.       Have We Been Made Willing? (Matt 12:46-50, 1John 5:13)

Throughout this chapter we have seen that the majority of the Jews remained in unbelief, because their religious leaders told them what to believe and what to hold false. Almost the same thing is occurring today. Masses of people flocking to the churches are led astray by religious leaders, who are deceiving them for material gain. And people are not checking out the truth of what their religious leaders are making them believe. And here we see that even Jesus’ mother and His brothers did not believe on Him. We read here in Matt 12:46-50,

Mt 12:46-50  While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.   Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.      But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!  For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

It is obvious that these words should not be understood in the absolute sense, for we are not the literal brother and sister and mother of Jesus. These statements must be understood spiritually. The meaning is that we are considered of the family of Christ if we shall do the will of the Father in heaven for all who worship the Lord Jesus are committed to do the will of the Father. But let us be fair. If the brothers of Jesus, and even His mother, who all lived so close to Him for more than 30 years, remained unbelievers, can we then be assured that we would not miss the boat? How sure are we of our salvation? If we cannot trust our own will, who or what can we trust? According to 1John 5:13 we must rely on our faith. Our faith is given us at the moment of our regeneration. And if we put our trust in the Christ of the Bible, the whole Bible, then the Christ of the Bible will not let us down. He will remain faithful to His promise that “him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out”. Let us comfort one another with these words.       AMEN.            Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.