Words are powerful. They can either tear down or build up. As we saw yesterday, harsh remarks can cause a destructive chain reaction—like the damage a lit match could do to a forest. In contrast, kind comments feel like a light summer rain that brings relief from the day’s heat.
We should always be careful about what we say. Scripture clearly condemns gossip, deception, complaining, slander, angry outbursts, foul language, and vulgar joking. Yet the goal isn’t simply to avoid all bad speech; it’s to speak truth in an uplifting manner. After all, even correction can be delivered in a way that’s encouraging.
Sometimes the problem is not so much what we say but how we say it. Oftentimes our tone of voice and body language convey much more than our words do. Nonverbal signals can reveal impatience, resentment, anger, malice, and bitterness—all of which tear others down. But wordless signals can instead edify by showing love, compassion, appreciation, and gratitude.
In terms of godly behavior, we all fall short of perfection, but if we saturate our mind with God’s Word, He’ll transform our heart, attitudes, and speech. And when our words are gracious, others are blessed and God is glorified.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.
3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
4 Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:
5 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust.
6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee.
9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
10 Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.
11 Lord, when thy hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.
12 Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.
13 O Lord our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.
14 They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.
15 Thou hast increased the nation, O Lord, thou hast increased the nation: thou art glorified: thou hadst removed it far unto all the ends of the earth.
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.
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.
Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples
and said to Him, “Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see:
the BLIND RECEIVE 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.
“And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”
As these men were going away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
“But what did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ palaces!
“But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one who is more than a prophet.
“This is the one about whom it is written, `BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY BEFORE YOU.’
“Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
“From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
“For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
“And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children,
and say, `We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, `He has a demon!’
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, `Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”
Then He began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent.
“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
“Nevertheless I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
“And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.
“Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you.”
At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.
“Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.
But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.”
But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions,
how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone?
“Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?
“But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here.
“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.”
Departing from there, He went into their synagogue.
And a man was there whose hand was withered. And they questioned Jesus, asking, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”–so that they might accuse Him.
And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out?
“How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.
But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.
But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all,
and warned them not to tell who He was.
This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
“BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES.
“HE WILL NOT QUARREL, NOR CRY OUT; NOR WILL ANYONE HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STREETS.
“A BATTERED REED HE WILL NOT BREAK OFF, AND A SMOLDERING WICK HE WILL NOT PUT OUT, UNTIL HE LEADS JUSTICE TO VICTORY.
“AND IN HIS NAME THE GENTILES WILL HOPE.”
Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw.
All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?”
But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”
And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand.
“If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand?
“If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges.
“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
“Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
“He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
“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.
“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.
“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
“The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.
“But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.
“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet;
for just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
“The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
“ The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it.
“Then it says, `I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.
“Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.”
While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him.
Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”
But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”
And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!
“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”