A Moment With The Bible
Jesus is still rebuking the Pharisees about their remark that He was casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub. In this section, Jesus deals with the careless use of their tongue. Notice how strong Jesus’ words are: “You brood vipers! How can you speak good when you are evil?” Vipers in the Middle East are extremely deadly, killing a man in a matter of minutes. To be called a viper spiritually would indicate how dangerous these Jews were to the salvation of others. The words that came from their mouths would destroy the souls of men. What a powerful lesson for us! Think of it: “mere” words can cause a person to lose his soul forever. How cautious we must be in what we say and how we present the teachings of the Lord to others.
But controlling the tongue does not begin with the tongue, it begins with the heart. A good tree will always produce good fruit and a bad tree will always produce bad fruit. If we are to speak wholesome, encouraging words, we will first have to be wholesome and good on the inside. Have you ever seen a garbage can that was overflowing? That is a fair representation of what can happen to our minds. If we continue to allow our minds to be filled with evil, worldly things, it will eventually overflow and come out of our mouth. Thus Jesus states, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” We can know what is in a person’s mind by the things that come out of his mouth. It is interesting that sometimes we hear folks comment about a individual who speaks or acts wickedly as a person who is deep down, “good at heart.” No he isn’t. Evil fruit comes from an evil heart. Evil words come from an evil mind. It is true with others and it is true with us. We must not deceive ourselves: “A tree is known by its fruit.”