Mathew 12 Lesson

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

Jesus said, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.” – Mathew 12:33.

What did Jesus mean when He said this, and why is it important to us today?

At the time Jesus spoke this, He was being questioned by the Pharisees. They took issue with several events, starting with Jesus’ disciples eating grain from the field. Eating grain was permissible according to Jewish Law. Deuteronomy 23:24-25 says:

“When you go through another person’s vineyard, you may eat as many grapes as you want. But you cannot put any of the grapes in your basket.  When you go through another person’s field of grain, you may eat all the grain you can pick with your hands. But you cannot use a sickle to cut that person’s grain and take it with you.

Jesus’ disciples were hungry. They were feeding themselves as allowed by the Law, but the Pharisees did not like it.

Jesus says to the Pharisees that, “Something greater than the temple is here.” – Mathew 12:6. He continues, “But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

At this point, Jesus is not happy with the Pharisees, and the Pharisees are not happy with Jesus. There was no law against what Jesus’ disciples were doing, but the Pharisees did not like it.

Jesus is looking at His disciples who are hungry, and He has compassion on them. The Pharisees were looking at the disciples and judging them. Jesus wants all of us to be concerned for one another. He wants us to have compassion. When somebody has a need and we can help, He wants us to help them.

In Mathew 25:42-46, Jesus, talking about Judgement Day, says: 

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;  I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

After the disciples had eaten, they went into a synagogue with the Pharisees.  Here, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand. Instead of rejoicing that the man was healed, the Pharisees judge Jesus for healing somebody on the Sabbath. As Jesus said In Mathew 12:8, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” If Jesus decides to heal somebody, regardless of what day He does it on, there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

At this point the Pharisees were plotting to kill Jesus. They were looking for any opportunity that might present itself to accomplish their goal. They were not interested in what Jesus had to say, and they were not swayed by the miracles that they saw with their own eyes.

They had the option to either follow Jesus, or conspire against Him, and they chose the latter. Their hearts were hardened, and their minds were made up.

God gives us freewill. He knows that we are going to have good day and bad days, even good years, and bad years. But at our core, we will decide at some point about whether we are “good” or “bad”. We will decide for ourselves whether to follow Jesus.

The Pharisees had abandoned any idea of following Jesus. Their minds were made up, their hearts were hardened, and now their souls had crossed over to the point that they would never turn back. They had committed what is referred to as, “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” – Mathew 12:31. Jesus says in the next verse, “Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

He then says, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit.” – Mathew 12:33.

You may have heard of the expression, “You are what you eat.” It implies that the food that we put into our bodies is ultimately what our bodies become. If we eat healthy, we will have healthy bodies, etc.

In our study today, Jesus is telling us that we will be known by our fruit, or what we produce. If we are “good”, God will bless us, and our work will produce fruit. If we are “bad”, we will turn away from God and instead of producing fruit, we will drain the world of the fruit that is already in it.

“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” – Mathew 12:30.

God has a plan for us:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11.

It is up to us to decide if we are going to follow Jesus and allow God’s plan work in our lives. We have to decide if we are going to turn away from God or draw nearer to Him.

Nobody can make that decision for us. Each of us gets to decide for ourselves.

The Bible says, “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15.

May God bless you in your decision and may the Spirit work in you to commit to follow Jesus!

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we look at Mathew 13 and the Parable of the Mustard Seed. May God’s blessings be upon you until then. Amen


Pat Dermody

We can protect ourselves by reading the scriptures which remind us of God’s word and help us not not only to “stay on track” but to grow. Along with this we must pray for strength and guidance. Going to church helps to nourish us and also surrounding ourselves with people who are leading similar lives and can reinforce godlike behavior in our lives. These are healthy ways to protect ourselves.