6. The business of mission, 11:1-12:50

v] Confrontation with the Pharisees 12:22-37


A demon possessed person who is unable to speak is brought to Jesus and is healed. The crowd wonder whether Jesus is the messiah, but the Pharisees make it know that Jesus' power is from Beelzebul, the prince of the demons. In an extended discourse Jesus addresses the Pharisees' absurd proposition.


The mission of the church will often be misunderstood, if not vilified.


i] Context: See "Issues", 11:1-19


ii] Structure: Jesus confrontation with the Pharisees:

Narrative, v22-24:

The healing of the blind and dumb demoniac.

Discourse #1, v25-30:


a house divided, v25-26;

"if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, ....", v27;

"if it is by the Spirit of God

that I cast out demons, then .....", v28;

"how can anyone enter a strong man's house ...", v29;

"whoever is not with me is against me ...", v30.

Discourse #2, v31-32:

Two part parallel saying:

blasphemy against the Spirit.

Discourse # 3, v33-37:

Saying, v33-35:

a person is known by their fruits.

Saying, v36-37:

"everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment."


iii] Interpretation:

People reject Jesus because they misunderstand the origin of his power; they say it is Beelzebul rather than the Spirit. This unit explains the seriousness of this misconception, an error of judgment that leads to blasphemy against the Spirit, the unforgivable sin. In the mission of the church, what was true for the Master is true for his disciples.

The passage is made up of a narrative and a three-part discourse. The narrative reveals the opposing views of Jesus' person held by the crowds and the Pharisees - the crowds think Jesus is possibly the messiah, the Son of David, but the Pharisees think Jesus is demon possessed, v22-24. The first part of the discourse presents a logical argument as to why the Pharisees were wrong in their assessment of Jesus - a house divided against itself cannot stand, v25-30. The second part of the discourse explains that the Pharisees' assessment of Jesus is blasphemous - a sin that is beyond redemption, v31-32. The third part of the discourse clarifies the issue of blasphemy by specifying that the problem relates to the nature of the person rather than their words. Such a person faces judgment, v33-37.


As already noted, Matthew carefully arranges the narrative section covering chapters 11 and 12 to develop and apply the discourse on mission and martyrdom, 9:35-10:42. Each passage serves as a paradigm for the mission of the church - as goes the Master, so goes the disciple. In the passage before us we witness the tendency of people, who should know better, to interpret gospel ministry as something that stems from evil intent. This corrupted misconception has disastrous consequences, for it inevitably undermines a true hearing of the Word and thus the possibility of forgiveness. The inevitable consequence of this failure is judgment. In the next passage, "A request for a sign", 12:38-45, we are provided with an analysis of this misconception and, in the context of mission / evangelism, how to deal with it.


iv] Synoptics:

The first element of the discourse, v25-30, is one of those interesting occasions where Matthew agrees with Luke over Mark, although another way of putting it is that Matthew uses Mark + Q. Of course, if the oral tradition was set by this time, Matthew may well just be using it rather than either Mark or Luke, or both! The passage presents as a collection of independent sayings assembled thematically and linked by the key words kata, ekballw and pneuma - v25-26, 27, 28, 29, and 30. Thematic groupings of stitched sayings are evident in the Gospels (so also James). The gathering together of thematically linked sayings may be the work of the gospel writers, but it seems more likely that such blocks of teaching were already part of oral tradition before the composition of the synoptic gospels. The apostles may well be responsible for their creation, designing them to support both oral preservation and didactic intent. Of course, it was not beyond Jesus' wit to have taught his disciples blocks of teaching with oral preservation in mind.

The second element of the discourse, v31-32, consists of an independent saying using a parallel construct, with both Luke and Mark recording a similar saying.

The third element of the discourse, v33-37, is not found in Mark. It consists of two parts. The first, v33-35, is partly found in Luke (sourced from Q ???). Matthew's discordant "you brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?, v34, personalizes the saying to the Pharisees, cf., Lk.6:43-45. So, v34 is either redactional, or a separate saying of Jesus, although it is possible that Matthew has recorded the original context of v33-35, while Luke has generalized it. The next saying/s, v36-37, is/are unique to Matthew, more likely part of his received tradition than an editorial creation / redaction.


v] Homiletics:

"When the Pharisees heard this, they said, 'It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons'", Matt.12:23.

Growing up in the 1950's and ministering through to the year 2,000, placed me in the middle of the benign age of Western nominal Christianity. The good old Church of England tag enabled me to minister to a local community happy to pop into a service once in a blue moon, have their children "done" (baptized) and married off. We published 12,000 copies of our yearly parish paper (gospel tract!!) and delivered it throughout the Parish without ever receiving one complaint. As far as the wider community was concerned, "churchies" were at the worst wowsers, oddballs, or dorks, but otherwise nice people.

Now suddenly the world has changed. The shift to the political left by the progressive inteligencia has created a growing number of people who view Christians as bigoted and hurtful, if not downright dangerous. This is particularly evident in university campuses, the media (particularly public broadcasters), and increasingly in the wider community. For the Christian church it is a perfect storm, given our failure to protect children from pedophile clergy and youth workers.

Gospel ministry is not driven by evil intent (ie., of Satan). Its purpose is to rescue sinful humanity from the coming wrath, 1Thes.1:10. Atheistic humanism is not disposed to the notion of sin, particularly sexual sins - adultery, divorce, homosexual sex, .... So, weather we like it or not, the message of the cross carries offense, Gal.5:11. And when it all blows up in our face, even though we were as gentle and respectful as possible, we should not be amazed, 1Pet.4:12.

Text - 12:22

A confrontation with the Pharisees, v22-37: i] Introduction: In healing a blind and dumb demoniac, Jesus is confronted by the false proposition that Christian mission is driven by evil intent, v22-24. The first verse is somewhat elliptical; "then a blind and dumb man who was possessed was brought to him and he healed him, so that the the mute man was able to speak and to see."

tote adv. "Then" - Temporal adverb, indicating a step in the narrative.

autw/ dat. pro. "him" - [a demon-possessed man was brought to] him [blind and dumb = having dulled senses and he healed him]. Dative of direct object after the proV prefix verb "to bring to."

daimonizomenoV (daimonizomai) pres. part. "a demon-possessed man" - a man being possessed [blind and mute]. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "to bring to"; "a demon-possessed person was brought to him" The attributive adjectives "blind and mute" serve to limit "a man being possessed", as NIV.

w{ste + inf. "so that" - This construction serves to introduce a consecutive clause expressing result; "with the result that ....."

lalein (lalew) "talk [and see]" - [the mute man was able] to speak [and the blind man was able to see]. As with blepein, "to see", the infinitive is used with w{ste, but it is also complementary, completing the sense of the assumed verb "was able."


existanto (existhmi) imperf. "were astonished" - [all the crowds] were confused, stupefied / amazed, astonished [and said]. The verb has the meaning "to drive out of one's senses." The plural "crowds" is idiomatic, so "the whole crowd" = "all the people."

mhti "[could this be]" - surely not [this one is the son of david]? This negation, mh + tiV, is used in a question expecting the answer "no", but also in a question where there is some doubt as to the answer, as here; "Can it be that this man is the Son of David?" Cassirer.

oJ uiJoV Dauid "the Son of David" - The genitive proper "David" is adjectival, relational. A messianic title, cf., 9:27. The people are unsure whether the person who is performing these miracles is the messiah, given that he is from Nazareth, but the possibility is obviously there.


akousanteV (akouw) aor. part. "when [the Pharisees] heard this" - [but the pharisees] having heard [said]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal.

ei mh "it is only" - [this one does not cast out demons] except. Introducing an exceptive clause expressing a contrast by designating an exception; "this one is not casting out demons except by Beelzebul" = "the only way this fellow ejects demons is by the help of Beelzebul", Barclay.

en + dat. "by [Beelzebul]" - Instrumental, expressing agency. Beelzebub, Prince Baal, the Lord of the flies / dung, later an alias for Satan.

twn daimoniwn (on) gen. "[the prince] of demons" - [the ruler] of the demons. The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / subordination; "prince over the demons" = "the prince who rules over the demons."

ouJtoV "that this fellow" - this one. Probably a contemptuous reference to Jesus; "this man."


ii] Jesus' discourse with the Pharisees, v25-37; a) The Pharisees' assessment of Jesus is logically flawed in that a house divided cannot stand, v25-30 - can Satan cast out Satan? Also, if Jesus exorcises demons by the power of Beelzebul, by what power do the Pharisees exorcise? The critical assessment of Jesus' ministry promoted by the Pharisees cannot stand examination. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Jesus casts out the demons in the power of God's Spirit, which fact evidences the nowness of the coming kingdom of God. The first saying, v25-26 is found in Luke's account, cf., 11:17-18.

eidwV (oJraw) perf. part. "Jesus knew" - [but / and] knowing. The participle is adverbial, best treated as causal; "because he knew their thoughts."

autwn gen. pro. "their [thoughts]" - [the thoughts, ideas] of them. The genitive is adjectival, either possessive, or verbal, subjective.

autoiV dat. pro. "[said] to them" - [he said] to them. Dative of indirect object.

merisqeisa (merizw) aor. pas. part. "divided" - [every kingdom] having been divided [against itself is made desolate / laid waste and every city or house] having been divided [against itself will not stand in place]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "kingdom" and "city or house"; "every kingdom which is divided against itself ......" The point is "internal division wreaks havoc", D&A.

kaq (kata) + gen. "against [itself]" - Here expressing opposition, as NIV.


ei + ind. "if" - [and] if, as is the case, [satan casts out satan, then he is divided against himself]. Introducing a 1st. class conditional clause where the proposed condition is assumed to be true.

ef (epi) acc. "against [himself]" - A rare sense of influence over / control, extending to opposition; "against"; "if it is that Satan drives out Satan, it follows that he is internally divided", Cassirer.

pwV "how" - Interrogative particle / adverb, used for a direct question; "how do you suppose that his kingdom will continue?", Phillips.

oun "then" - therefore [will stand the kingdom of him]? Inferential; drawing a logical conclusion from the conditional clause in the form of a rhetorical question.


This second conjoined independent saying is substantially in agreement with Luke 11:19, and is usually viewed as a Q source for both Luke and Matthew. The whole passage may well be a single teaching discourse from Jesus, so D&A, but it is usually viewed as a thematic stitching of sayings from Jesus based on key linking words, here ekballw, "to drive / cast out." As with v25-26, the saying exposes the illogical stance adopted by the Pharisees. The point being made is "similar effects have similar causes", D&A.

ei + ind. "if" - if, as is the case, [i drive out the demons by beelzeboul, then by whom do the sons of you cast them out]? Introducing a 1st. class conditional clause where the proposed condition is assumed to be true, here for argument sake; "if I eject demons by the help of Beelzebul, by whose help do your own disciples eject them?", Barclay.

egw pro. "I [drive out demons]" - Emphatic by position and use.

en + dat. "by [Beelzebul]" - Instrumental, expressing agency.

oiJ uiJoi uJmwn "your people" - the sons of you. The genitive "of you" is adjectival, relational. Not literally the Pharisees sons, but fellow Pharisees. Usually taken as a circumlocution for "you".

dia touto "so then" - because of this [they will be judges of you]. This causal construction is inferential, often used to introduce an important proposition, as NIV. Those "sons" / Pharisees who minister to cast out demons "would be able to testify to the fact that casting out demons was not a work of Satan", Morris.


This third conjoined independent saying is paralleled in Luke 11:20, although Luke has the casting out "by the finger of God", rather than Matthew's "Spirit of God." Again ekballw is the linking keyword. The logic is argumentative: Given that Jesus casts out demons, just as the Pharisees cast out demons, then it is more than likely that he does it in the power of God. One is forced, therefore, to ask, who is this person who, in the power of God, casts out demons? Maybe he is the messiah, and if that's the case, the long promised kingdom may well be upon us.

ei "if" - [but] if, as is the case, [i cast out the demons by spirit of god then the kingdom of god has arrived upon you]. Introducing a 1st. class conditional clause, as above.

en + dat. "by" - Instrumental, expressing agency.

qeou (oV) gen. "[the Spirit] of God" - The genitive is adjectival, relational, but possibly ablative, source / origin. An interesting variation of Luke's "finger of God." The debate is usually over whether it is Matthew or Luke who is properly quoting the source document Q. Of course, they may both be working off an oral source with the difference preserved in each. The Old Testament equates hand / finger of God with Spirit of God, cf., Ezk.3:14, 8:1-3, 37:1. Both are euphemisms for "the power of God" and may well have been used by Jesus is different situations.

egw pro. "I [drive out demons]" - Probably emphatic by use, although parallelism with v27 is being employed.

ara "then" - This conjunction serves to introduce the apodosis of the conditional clause; emphatic by use, emphasizing result.

basileia tou qeou "kingdom of God" - See 3:2. There is nothing significant in the change from Matthew's usual "kingdom of heaven" to "kingdom of God" since he is drawing a parallel with "Spirit of God", so Fenton.

ef (epi) + acc. "[has come] upon [you]" - Spacial use of the preposition, "upon, on", although somewhat redundant, given the ef prefix for the verb efqasen, "has arrived, reached, come upon", but standard form. The combination of words serves as an example of realized eschatology, but it doesn't change the more likely now / not yet reality of the kingdom. Inaugurated is a preferred sense for many, "the kingdom is so close that its powers are already at work" - the less probable view, D&A.


The fourth independent conjoined saying / parable is recorded in the same context by both Luke and Mark, cf., Lk.11:21-22, Mk.3:27. On this occasion Matthew is more in line with Mark than Luke. The illustrative saying makes the point that it is not possible to attack and plunder a well-protected residence without first rendering the guards powerless. The meaning of the illustration can only be determined by its context - Satan's domain is under attack, he is bound and even now he is being relieved of his possessions, ie., Jesus is freeing the demon-possessed.

h] "or again" - Here comparative rather than disjunctive, as NIV; "to put it another way, ....", Barclay.

twV "how" - Interrogative particle introduce a rhetorical question.

eiselqein (eisercomai) aor. inf. "[can anyone] enter" - [is a certain one able] to enter. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "is able."

eiV + acc. "-" - into. Spacial. Somewhat redundant given the eiV prefix of the verb "to enter into", but usual form.

tou iscurou adj. "a strong man's [house]" - [the house] of a strong one [and steal the objects of him]. The adjective serves as a substantive, accusative direct object of the verb "to bind", the genitive being possessive.

ean mh + subj. "unless" - unless [he first binds the strong one]. Introducing a negated 3rd. class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true; "unless, as the case may be, he first binds the strong man, then how can anyone enter into the house of the strong man and plunder the goods of him?" An extra layer of complexity is added to the clause in that its positive protasis (the if clause), "if [he first binds the strong man]", appends to a second apodosis (the then clause) introduced by an emphatic tote, "then [the house of him he will plunder].

tote "then" - [and] then [the house of him]. Temporal adverb introducing a temporal clause, emphatic by position (ie., fronted).

diarpasei (diarpazw) fut. "he can plunder" - he will plunder. The prefix dia is perfective so "plunder thoroughly", "ransack", NEB. "It is only after he has done this that he enters the house and plunders it thoroughly", Cassirer.


The concluding saying in this collection is also found in Luke's record of the Beelzebul controversy. Luz calls it "a call to decision ..... directed to open and undecided people, and not the opponents of Jesus, who have already reached a decision." It's a rather black and white statement, but that's the nature of choice. A person can choose to come to Jesus, but if they fail to take up the opportunity, then they inevitably stand as God's enemies. There are no half measures; a person either aligns themselves with the kingdom of God, or with the kingdom of Satan - we are either with Jesus, or against him.

oJ mh wn (eimi) pres. part. "whoever is not" - the one not being. The participle serves as a substantive.

met (meta) + gen. "with" - with [me]. Expressing association.

kat (kata) + gen. "against" - [is] against [me]. Here expressing opposition.

oJ mh sunagwn pres. part. "whoever does not gather" - the one not gathering [with me scatters]. The participle serves as a substantive. It is unclear whether the imagery is of harvesting, or scattering and gathering sheep. Presumably the tending of a flock is in mind, illustrating the point that there are no half measures. If a headsman doesn't gather the flock then he is in effect scattering them. "This is war, and there is no neutral ground. If you're not on my side, you're my enemy; if you're not helping, you're making things worse", Peterson.


b) Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, v31-32. Again Matthew aligns more with Luke than Mark and goes into more detail than Luke. Luke has the saying in a different, but more appropriate, context, namely, that of denying Christ. These two verses serve as "warnings to those who have not accepted the import of what has just been said", D&A. The warning is carried in a parallel construction coving the two verses. Extreme slander can be forgiven, even slander against the messiah / Son of Man (eg., Peter's denial of Jesus), but there is a certain slander which cannot be forgiven, namely, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Details are not provided and so the context must dictate the blasphemy. The Pharisees are clearly in danger of this blasphemy by contending that Jesus casts out demons in the power of Satan rather than the power of God. The blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a blind determination to deny the Holy Spirit's revelation in the person and work of Christ. And more specifically, to deny that divine work when having concluded that it may well be from the hand of God. "Jesus charges that those who perceive that his ministry is empowered by the Spirit and then, for whatever reason - whether spite, jealousy, or arrogance - ascribe it to Satan, have put themselves beyond the pale", Carson, ie., the unforgivable sin is the "conscious disputing of the indisputable", Berkouwer, Sin, Eerdmans, 1971.

dia touto "and so" - because of this. This construction is inferential rather than causal; "so therefore I say this to you ...."

uJmin dat. pro. "[I tell] you" - [i say] to you. Dative of indirect object. The statement "I say to you" is intensive.

toiV anqrwpoiV (oV) dat. "men / -" - [every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven] men. Dative of direct object after the verb "to forgive", a verb which takes a dative of persons.

de "but" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a move to a counterpoint, "but ...", as NIV.

tou pneumatoV (a atoV) gen. "against the Spirit" - [blasphemy, extreme slander] of the spirit [will not be forgiven]. The genitive is usually treated as adjectival, verbal, objective, as NIV. Possibly adverbial, reference / respect, "abusive speech about the Spirit shall not be forgiven", Berkeley, even adjectival, idiomatic, limiting "blasphemy", a "blasphemy / slander / abusive speech which affronts the Spirit" - the affront is explicitly stated in the next verse as speaking kata, "against [the Holy Spirit]."


o}V ean + subj. "anyone" - [and] whoever. Introducing a third class relative conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true; "whoever, as the case may be, speaks a word against the Son of Man, then it will be forgiven him" = "anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can find forgiveness", Cassirer.

kata + gen. "against" - [speaks a word] against [the son of man]. Here obviously expressing opposition, as NIV.

autw/ dat. pro. "-" - [it will be forgiven] him. Dative of direct object after the verb "to forgive", a verb which takes a dative of persons.

d (de) "but" - but/and [whoever speaks against the holy spirit]. If a strong adversative was intended here we may have expected alla, but the use of de may just indicate a step in the argument and so left untranslated.

oute ...... oute "either [in this age] or [in the age to come]" - [it will not be forgiven him] neither [in this age] nor [in the one about to come]. A negated correlative construction; "neither .... nor ..."

en + dat. "in" - Temporal use of the preposition; "that sin cannot be forgiven in time or eternity", Junkins


c) The source of blasphemy and its consequence, v33-37. "The problem of blasphemy ..... is far deeper than the mere words themselves. The problem is one of the basic nature of the speaker; what a person says is inescapably related to what a person is", Hagner. For the structure of this passage see "Issues / Synoptics" above.

A tree and its fruit, v33-35. The parallelism evident in this saying is obvious, but is disturbed in both Matthew and Luke:

A good fruit tree = good fruit;

A bad fruit tree = bad fruit.

Therefore (gar) a tree is recognized by its fruit.

A good man = good words from the heart;

An evil man = evil words from the heart.

Therefore (gar) the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

In Matthew, the rule for the second part of the saying, "for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks", is used as a bridge from the personal criticism of the "brood of vipers" (Pharisees) to the second part of the saying - a rather unsatisfactory arrangement! Luke, on the other hand, adds a second rule to the first part of the saying, so "people do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers" is added to "a tree is recognized by its own fruit" - again an intrusion into the simplicity of the saying, cf., Lk.6:43-45.

h] .... h] "-" - either [make the tree good and the fruit of it will be good] or [make the tree rotten and the fruit of it will be rotten]. An adversative comparative construction.

poihsate (poiew) "make" - In the sense of make a construct in the mind; "create, for a moment, in your mind the image of a sound fruit tree; its fruit will be good." Suppose a tree is good, then its fruit will be good", Morris.

autou gen. pro. "its [fruit]" - [the fruit] of it. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, or idiomatic / producer, "and the fruit produced by it will be good."

gar "for" - Usually read here as explanatory, strengthening the comparison just made. It is possible, though, that it is establishing a logical connection drawing a inferential conclusion, so "therefore ....." In 7:20, "thus you know them by their fruits", Matthew uses ara. "If you grow a healthy tree, you'll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you'll pick worm-eaten fruit. [So] the fruit tells you about the tree", Peterson.

ek + gen. "by [its fruit]" - from [the fruit the tree is known]. The preposition here is usually taken to express means, "by, on the ground of" - a means consisting of a source.


ecidnwn (a hV) "[You brood] of vipers" - [you offspring] of snakes, vipers. The genitive is adjectival, relational. The term was also used by John the Baptist when he referred to the Pharisees and Sadducees.

pwV "how" - Interrogative particle introducing a rhetorical question.

onteV (eimi) pres. part. "who are [evil]" - [how are you able to speak good] being [evil]. The NIV treats the participle as adjectival, attributive, limiting "you", the one able to speak good, but it can also be taken adverbially, temporal; "how can you speak good when you are evil", ESV.

lalein (lalew) pres. inf. "say" - [you are able] to speak. The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "to be able."

gar "for" - As in v33 this conjunction is expressing reason more than cause, even to the extent of establishing a logical connection drawing an inferential conclusion, poss. "therefore"; "A person's words are nothing more than the overflow of what is in their hearts", Barclay. The rule mirrors Luke 6:44, also with gar. As noted above, this rule logically follows v35 rather than proceeding it, as in Luke.

ek + gen. "-" - from [the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks]. Expressing source / origin; "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks", ESV.


tou agaqou qhsaurou "the good things stored up in him" - [the good, excellent man from] the good, excellent treasure [sends out good, excellence, and the evil man from the evil treasure sends out evil]. The "treasure" = "what is contained in the heart", Hagner. The mouth expresses what is contained in the heart / the psyche / one's inner being. Consequently "how then can those who are evil say anything good?" "A person's words and deeds reveal what is really important to them, and so their true character", France.


A word of warning, v36-37. Still within the context of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, namely, the conscious disputing of the indisputable status of Christ, the conscious disputer (here the Pharisees, but by extension all humanity) is warned that they will have to give account for their empty words. By these words, namely their confession of Christ, or rejection of Christ, they will be acquitted / justified, or condemned on the day of judgment. This saying of Jesus is unique to Matthew and serves well to conclude the Beelzebul discourse.

uJmin dat. pro. "[I tell] you" - [but / and i say] to you. Dative of indirect object. The phrase serves to emphasize the import of the following words.

oJti "that" - Introducing a dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Jesus says.

en + dat. "on [the day]" - Temporal use of the preposition.

krisewV (iV ewV) gen. "of judgment" - The genitive is adjectival, attributive, idiomatic / temporal; "the day when all people will be judged."

peri + gen. "for" - [every useless word which men will speak they will give an account on the day of judgment] about [it]. Possibly reference / respect, "concerning it", but also in place of uJper, representation, "for, on behalf of."

argon adj. "empty [word]" - [every] useless [word]. Probably not so much "careless", "idle", Rieu, but more likely "useless", Berkeley, "worthless", Torrey, "thoughtless", Junkins, REB, possibly "indifferent". The context defines "every indifferent word", so it is not actually "every" word, but every word related to the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit - that's the word we will be judged on!


"Because words come from the heart, the judgment of an individual will be according to his or her words", D&A/. The change to the second person plural may indicate that this verse is a separate saying of Jesus, but Matthew / Jesus often moves to the second person plural to apply the words to the reader / hearer.

gar "for" - Introducing a causal clause explaining why judgment is enacted on the basis of a person's words, "because" the words, stemming as they do from the heart, either justify or condemn.

ek + gen. "by" - from [the words of you you will be justified and] from [the words of you you will be condemned]. Here possibly expressing means, "by means of", leaning toward "on the ground of", ie., a means consisting of a source; "in accordance with", Morris.

sou gen. pro. "your [words]" - [the words] of you. The genitive is adjectival, possessive, since "you" own the words, but also verbal, subjective, "on the basis of the words you utter."

dikaiwqhsh/ (dikaiow) fut. "you will be acquitted" - In the sense of "declared to be righteous", Morris, and what God declares so is so.


Matthew Introduction


[Pumpkin Cottage]