Matthew, Chapter 12
Matt. 12:36 "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall
speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by
thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be
According to the scriptures, God is the judge of all the earth and every
transgression receives a just recompense of reward. Numerous times in
the scriptures we read that God is just. Since God is just, it stands to
reason that there is a day of judgment for every sin that is committed.
There is a difference between saying, "a day of judgment," and saying,
"a judgment day." A judgment day implies that it is just one day and no
other. The day of judgment means that sins are brought to judgment, but
it does not fix it as just one day and no other.
By looking at the phrase "the day of judgment" we will be able to draw
1. Mat 10:15 "Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the
land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."
2. Mat 11:22 "But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre
and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you."
3. Mat 11:24 "But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for
the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee."
4. Mat 12:36 "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall
speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."
5. Mark 6:11 "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye
depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony
against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for
Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."
6. 2 Pet 2:9 "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of
temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be
7. 2 Pet 3:7 "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same
word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment
and perdition of ungodly men."
8. 1 John 4:17 "Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have
boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this
Clearly 1, 2, 3, and 5 above are indicative of timely judgments in which
God judged Sodom, Gomorrha, Tyre, and Sidon for their wickedness and
destroyed those cities. The destruction of civilization by the flood in
Noah's day is another example of a day of judgment. Likewise, the Lord
was telling the children of Israel that timely judgment was coming on
their cities as well. 6 and 7 above seem to be speaking to us about
eternal judgment of the unjust, ungodly men at the end of this time
world. This, too, is a day of judgment. 8 seems to speak to us of a day
of judgment in which the disciples have boldness when the love of God
dwelling in their hearts is made manifest. In conclusion, the "day of
judgment" is not a single day and is not for a single cause. There are
many days of judgment taught in the scriptures. It indicates there comes
a time when God will condemn and punish sin both here in time and for
When Christ died on the cross, it was a day of judgment for punishment
of the sins of the elect. When Christ returns in the morning of the
resurrection, it will be a day of judgment of the sins of the non-elect.
Here in time, God, from time to time, judges the actions of nations, of
cities, and of individuals with timely destruction. He also chastises
the sinful ways of his people.
Next, look at the use of the term, "the judgment seat of Christ:"
1. Rom 14:10 "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set
at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat
2. 2 Cor 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of
Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body,
according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
A person may be brought before a king for judgment in matters that are
not life and death. A king can choose to judge any type or number of
actions of his citizens. The above two references of the judgment seat
of Christ are directed to God's children. By looking at the first
chapter of Romans and the first chapter of 2 Corinthians it is plain
that those letters were written to born again children of God. God
judges our actions with timely judgment. We often refer to this as
chastisement. A father chastens his children. The following are
scriptures about God chastening his children:
1. Deu 8:5 "Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man
chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee."
2. Heb. 12:5 "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto
you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the
Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth
he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure
chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom
the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof
all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we
have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them
reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of
spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after
their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of
his holiness. 11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous,
but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby."
3. Rev. 3:19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous
therefore, and repent."
4. Job 34:31 "Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne
chastisement, I will not offend any more: 32 That which I see not teach
thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more."
5. Is. 53:5 "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised
for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with
his stripes we are healed."
6. Job 5:17 "Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore
despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty."
7. Prov. 3:11 "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither
be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth;
even as a father the son in whom he delighteth."
8. Is. 26:16 "LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a
prayer when thy chastening was upon them. 17 Like as a woman with child,
that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out
in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD."
Clearly, the Lord chastens his children. He chastens them because he
loves them. Chastening is designed for correction. God chastens his
children to correct them that they may walk in paths of righteousness
and have closer fellowship with Him. While chastening may seem grevious
at the time, the end result is it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of
righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Matt. 12:38 "Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered,
saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 39 But he answered and
said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign;
and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet
Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's
belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the
heart of the earth."
The reason that the scribes and Pharisees asked for a sign is that they
did not believe in Jesus and wanted a sign so that if the sign did not
come to pass they could say that he was not a prophet. The Lord called
them an evil and adulterous generation seeking after a sign.
The Lord said that the only sign he would give them was "the sign of the
prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the
whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in
the heart of the earth." When we read Jonah, we know that Jonah was
swallowed of a great fish and was there in the whale's belly for three
days and three nights. At the end of three days and three nights, the
fish vomited up Jonah. Similar to Jonah, the Lord died on the cross, was
buried in the earth, lay there three days and three nights, and then
arose from the grave.
Yet, though this sign was given to the evil and adulterous generation,
they still did not believe him. A sign will not make someone believe.
As a sidelight, the above sign sheds light on a false practice in the
world today. Most of the religious world believes that Jesus was
crucified on Friday, was buried shortly before sundown and arose at
sunrise on Sunday morning. This would make Jesus in the grave on Friday
night and Saturday night and on Saturday day. This is only 2 nights and
one day. Yet this is the practice of the religious world. It is a false
Believing what Jesus said, we have Jesus crucified on Wednesday, buried
about sundown on Wednesday and arising early after sundown on Saturday.
This places Jesus in the grave for three days and three nights.
According to the scriptures, the first day of the week began at sundown
on Saturday. Confusion sometimes arises because many people do not
understand that there were two Sabbaths during that period. There was
the Sabbath of the first day of unleavened bread, which began at sundown
on Wednesday. Then there was the Sabbath of the seventh day, which began
at sundown on Friday.
The religiously popular Easter morning sunrise service is an adaptation
of a pagan religious rite and should not be practiced by believing
Matt. 12:41, 42
Matt. 12:41 "The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this
generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching
of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 42 The queen of the
south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall
condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear
the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here."
The men of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. Jonah at the
direction of the Lord preached to the Ninevites, "Forty days and Nineveh
shall be destroyed." Upon hearing this message, the men of Nineveh
humbled themselves, prayed, turned from their wicked ways, and sought
the Lord face. The Lord heard from heaven, forgave their sins, and
healed their land. The Ninevites were aliens to the commonwealth of
Israel, yet believed the message sent from Israel's God.
In contrast, the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the scribes and priests,
refused to repent even though a far greater than Jonah was there with
them. The actions of Nineveh declared the wickedness of the Jews of that
generation and their worthiness of destruction.
The Queen of Sheba, having heard of the Wisdom of Solomon, traveled a
great distance to hear with her own ears the Wisdom of Solomon. She was
richly rewarded in doing so.
Again, in contrast, the Jews refused to consider the wisdom of the Son
of God and stubbornly held to their wicked practices and rebelled
against the service of the Lord. The Lord sent his prophet, Samuel, to
tell King Saul "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness
is as iniquity and idolatry." The Jews in that generation stubbornly
refused and rebelled against the words of the Lord. Thus, the actions of
the Queen of Sheba declared the righteousness of God's judgment against
that generation of Jews.
Matt. 12:43 "When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh
through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. 44 Then he saith, I
will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come,
he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. 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."
Often in the scriptures, the Lord set forth for us general principles
that could have many applications. Within the text, there will be an
application peculiar to that text. This is one of those texts. We will
address our attention to this peculiar application.
The Lord taught us what happens when an unclean spirit is gone out of a
man. The unclean spirit walks through dry places, seeks rest, and finds
none. He then determines to come into his old house from which he came
out. He finds the house empty, swept, and garnished. The unclean spirit
then takes seven other spirits more wicked than himself and enters into
the house and the last state of the man is worse than the first. The man
is the house out of which the unclean spirit was cast and later
The peculiar application to which the Lord pointed us is that the man is
compared to the wicked generation of the Jews. The Lord came healing the
sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, and preaching the gospel to
the poor. He did many miracles before that generation. He taught them
wonderful things about the kingdom of heaven. Though the Lord did all
these things and cast out their unclean spirit, yet they made no changes
in their collective lives. There house stood empty, swept, and
garnished. They had done nothing to occupy the empty space with good
things. They did not seek to follow the Lord or to press into the
kingdom of heaven. They took no heed to do the things that the Lord
taught them. They took no heed to walk uprightly. They refused to repent
of their wicked ways.
Because of the almost total neglect of that generation to take heed to
the word of God and to the deeds and teachings of Jesus, even worse
wicked spirits came into that generation so that in the end God's
judgment came upon them at 70 A.D. with the invasion of the Roman army
and the destruction of most of the people, along with the destruction of
Matt. 12:46 "While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and
his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. 47 Then one said
unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to
speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who
is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his
hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the
same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Matt. 13:55 "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called
Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 56 And
his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all
these things?" From this verse, we know that Mary bore children after
that Jesus was born. We also note that Jesus had four brothers and an
unspecified number of sisters. In our subject text, Jesus' mother and
brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. There is a natural
affinity and affection that we have towards our mother and our natural
brothers and sisters. These strong bonds of relationship often equate to
strong bonds of fellowship.
In the above text, Jesus points us to an even greater bond of
relationship and fellowship. Jesus said that his disciples who do the
will of the Father in heaven are his brothers, and sisters, and mother.
The one has a relationship by natural ties, whereas, the disciples have
a bond by spiritual ties. The spiritual relationship to the Lord is
greater than the natural relationship. Only a few had a natural
relationship to the Lord as brothers, and sisters, and mother. Many have
a spiritual relationship to the Lord, having been born of the Spirit of
God. The disciples also have a close spiritual fellowship in that they
do the will of the Father in heaven.
In the Lord's church, we refer to one another as brother or sister.
Often there is no blood relationship, but there is a strong spiritual
relationship and subsequently a very strong fellowship with the fellow
The greater bond of the spiritual relationship is set forth in the
following passage: Mark 10:28 "Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we
have left all, and have followed thee. 29 And Jesus answered and said,
Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or
brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or
lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, 30 But he shall receive an
hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and
mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to
come eternal life." In leaving the natural relationships for the Lord's
sake, we find a far greater number of spiritual brothers and sisters
with which we have close fellowship.