Yesterday Jesus heals the blind and mute demoniac and is accused by the Pharisees and Scribes of being able to do his feats of power because of his relationship with Beelzebul. This rightfully pisses Jesus off, and he says these folks have maligned the Spirit's work. And that pissed-offedness continues in today's readings where Jesus renders judgment on the Pharisees for their words and foul hearts.
He refuses to give them a requested sign, except for a description of his impending death and resurrection. Yesterday Jesus said "If it is by the Spirit of God that I cast our demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you." And today he (again) announces his coming fate but adds that something greater than was ever seen before is among them. That something greater is him and this kingdom that has come among us.
We are given a gift in this rather difficult Gospel reading this morning: a reminder of how our words can have such influence on others. This is a powerful responsibility, that to those who are members of this Body of Christ, we are charged with perpetuating this kingdom of God that has come among us. That our words can influence others in ways that we need to be always conscious. A gift yes, and a responsibility.
Copyright 2009, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.