This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.
A Good Man Brings Forth Good Things
Meditation on Matthew 12:35
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
Jesus healed a man possessed with a devil. The man had been both blind and unable to speak. This glorious miracle produced varying effects on different individuals. The man who was possessed was healed! All the people were amazed, saying, “Is not this the son of David?” The Pharisees blasphemed, “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by the prince of the devils.” It is to the last group that Jesus directed this discourse. What a powerful warning is given to those who observe divine works and speak in an evil manner about them. They will have to give an account in the judgment day.
Jesus contrasts the two reactions as that of a good tree producing good fruit or an evil tree bringing forth corrupt fruit. Where does this fruit come from? In verse 35, notice Jesus uses the word ‘good’ three times and the word ‘evil’ three times. There is the good man out of a good treasure of the heart that brings forth good things.
Who is that ‘good man’? In the absolute sense, “there is none good but God.” God alone possesses original, essential, independent, perfect goodness. Truly, the Lord Jesus is the good man. But Scripture gives the term also to human beings who by the atoning work of Jesus’ blood and the renewing work of the Holy Spirit have been endowed with the principle of godliness. This will be exhibited it in their speech and conduct. It was said of Barnabas, that he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and faith.
Our text says that the good man “out of the good treasure of the heart” brings forth good things. The good treasure of a good man is contrasted with the evil treasure of the evil man. The heart is the mainspring of human conduct. Jesus said in vs. 34, “for out of the heart the mouth speaketh.” The heart of a person is one's rational soul, which has the ability to think, will, desire, and feel. The heart is where we have love or hate, joy or sorrow. The heart contains that which is excellent or base and corrupt. The heart of a child of God has been renewed, and is good. It contains a treasure. That treasure of th heart is like the seed bag of the farmer, the medical kit of the doctor, the cupboard of the housewife, or the benevolent fund out of which the deacon dispenses mercy. The cupboard must be full to feed the family. The medical kit of the doctor must be filled with the medical tools or medicines in order for the doctor to heal. The farmer must have a full bag of corn if he is going to seed a large field. The stream must be full of water if it is going to provide for the thirst of individuals. So also, the good man’s heart must be full.
The good man takes this supply, employs and dispenses of this holy fund within himself. First, he dispenses in order to glorify his God. Second, he uses it for the comfort of his own soul. Third, he employs it for the benefit of others. He uses this supply confident of the approval of Christ, unto things that are pleasing to God, and that are profitable for him and for others. To sum up, a good treasure in the heart is necessary to communicate good things. A treasure has the idea of sufficiency, having no lack. The granary of Egypt was carefully built up by Joseph so that there would be no lack in the days of famine.
How do we build up that supply? God does it, but God uses means. He uses His Spirit and His Word. David says, “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” So we are careful what we digest and meditate on. Take in the garbage of the world, with its amusements and actions, and there will be filth instead of godliness. We cannot be lazy when it comes to what we feed on to supply ourselves. Spiritual blessings only will make believers blessed. A great supply of Scriptural knowledge is a priceless treasure! David says, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and light upon my path. We fill our hearts with treasure being instant in prayer. The Apostle Paul prayed that believers “may be filled with all the fullness of God.” May we know the love of Christ which passes all knowledge. Let our minds be filled with heavenly light. May we be filled with all grace. Then we pray, “Lord make me a vessel of mercy unto others. Use me as a channel of peace. Open my mouth, that I may give expression to what thou hast done for me.” Without the operation of God’s grace, there can and will be no holiness of life. All fruits of godliness, love, and carefulness of life must flow from a pure heart that is filled with love and thankfulness to God for His grace.
This treasure, like all treasures, is kept safe so that neither the devil nor any other person may rob us of it. God fills our hearts, so that we may be channels of His grace. Does Jesus’ description fit you? “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good fruit.”
Rev. Audred Spriensma (Wife: Alva)
Ordained: January 1981
Pastorates: Atwood, MI CRC - 1981; Bethany, S.Holland, IL CRC - 1984; Grandville, MI - 1992; Missionary to the Philippines - 2002; Kalamazoo, MI - 2007; Byron Center, MI - 2010; Home missionary (Byron Center PRC), 2017Website: www.prca.org/missions/domestic
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