Matthew 16 Final–Time to Change the World

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

It had become time for the disciples to understand what was to come.  Jesus, as gently as possible, began to explain to these men what He was about to face, and what they were about to face.  Peter, Jesus loyal friend, just could not grasp the thought of Jesus being gone.  He pulled Jesus aside to set him straight. After all, hadn’t he just rightly announced that Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus wasn’t thinking things through–was He?

Jesus knew it would be hard, but He got in Peter’s face–Your thinking of human things–not Godly things.  You Are Not Helping…what’s more, If you are going to keep following Me, you have to deny yourself, take up your cross (be willing to die a difficult death) and follow me.  In other words, Peter and the boys had to come to grips with the fact that the party was over. It was time to change the world.

Knowing Jesus was never an invitation to an easy life. It wasn’t for the apostles, and it isn’t for us. We must keep in mind, ours is a life of sacrifice. Our wills have to take a back seat to God’s plan. We have to yield our desires to His lordship. The command to the group that they must daily deny themselves and daily follow Him–Still holds true today.  We may not be under persecution, but we are under the leadership and lordship of our Heavenly Father.  We cannot fear what is ahead, but, like Peter, we must face the truth–following the Lord is not a party, it is a calling that is subject to self denial, suffering and maybe even death. 

God Bless You

From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

Matthew 16 Part 2–Who Do Men Say that I Am?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

 It truly is the age old question…Who do men say that I am? Jesus was now well established in his ministry and was moving through the land teaching, healing, showing the people who God was and what God wanted for them His people. He had made quite a splash on the scene with an amaing array of miracles and confrontations with the Jewish leadership. Jesus was now at the point where the mission began moving to the cross.  

Jesus asked his guys, “Who do men say that I am?” It seemesd like a harmless enough question. Some say your a prophet, a great teacher–John the Baptist–2.0. Then Jesus asked those that knew him best, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter dived right in–“The Messiah, The Son of the Living God!” There has never been an answer more correct.  Jesus knew that while Peter gave the right answer, he had no concept of its import. Just speaking the right answer, sadly, had little to do how one went forward in the world.  Jesus knew that what lay ahead would be terrifying, overwelming and world changing. He had to get His guys ready for the battle.

That is the amazing thing about our Lord; He is never surprized or alarmed by what lies ahead.  He is all-knowing, all-powerful and in all-places and times at once. No circumstance that occurs catches Him off-guard. He, therefore, prepares us for the things ahead. He provides for our needs, and he allows us to encounter trials of various kinds to reaffirm who He is and who we are in Him. We must never forget that He is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God! But, we have to understand the import of being one of His own–He loves us, and is preparing us for an world changing and life changing journey, that leads to an eternity with Him.

God Bless You  

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.”20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

Matthew 16 Part 1–The Yeast Effect

Tags

, , , , , ,

In Matthew 16,The Religious leaders do what they always do–come to test Jesus and try to trip him up. On this day, they asked him to show them a sign–mind you, He had recently fed 5000+ people, then later fed 4000+ people with a combine 12 loaves of bread and probably 6 or 7 fish. He continued to heal the sick and cast out demons. He continued to teach about God and embrace the people that had been abandoned.  

Jesus response was in effect–the signs are everywhere, you simply fail to recognize them. The only sign left to convince you is the sign of Jonah.  Little did they know, like Jonah, Jesus would be “swallowed up” by death for 3 days; and then, like Jonah, He would be ressurected to free the people–like Jonah did with the people of Ninevah. 

Still, the disciples did not understand, that like yeast, the religious leaders were trying to work their way in; and somehow, control the minisrty of Jesus.  They thought by trying to trick him, they could get him to be different, to lose control of His ministry. While Jesus was not falling for it, the disciples were still too green to understand. Jesus needed them to see that the religious leaders were never there to be convinced–only to destroy Jesus and his ministry. It was not unlikeyeast is there to make the bread rise, and nothing more.

It is the same today. The religious are still annoyed by the truth of the Gospel. They want spirituality to be on their terms, and a product of what they do and accomplish. Sadly, when the truth of grace is taught, it makes them crazy. They want to control the message and the outcome. There will never be enough proof or miracles to convince them otherwise. As with the disciples, Jesus reminds us–do not fall for it. they are simply trying to change the truth–they have no desire to understand it.  We simply trust God and ignore them. Don’t allow them to “Get a rise out of us”. 

God Bless You

The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.[a] A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.

The Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread.“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.”

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees

Matthew 15 Part 2–In or Out–What Defines Us?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

The religious leaders were so concerned with what went into people’s mouths. Did you wash thouroughly? was it kosher? Jesus saw right through the rigor and religion the leaders were focused upon.  As He so aptly said, “It is not what goes into your mouth that defines you, it is what comes out.” It wasn’t that Jesus wanted to ignore eating laws, it was simply that those laws did little to affect the condition of men’s hearts.

Jesus was growing weary of the constant abuse of authority by the Jewish leaders.  They knew the laws better than most, but seemed clueless about the God that created them and those laws.  Jesus simply called them out.  He said look at what is coming out of your mouth and your thoughts. You have less regard for God or His people; than you do the administrative rules about food.  They lost sight of who and whose they were–God’s annointed and appointed.

In present day, Christians still struggle with that issue.  In their attempt to keep denominational or religious rules, they lose sight of the real key of trust, submission and worship.  As we trust in the Lord, follow him closely, and submit to his leadership; religious rules and habits become less important.  We become too busy seeking him and serving others; to keep track of others adhearance to administrative religious practice. When that happens, all of the sudden, revival breaks out and Jesus shines.  Then and now, all God wants is our hearts–he will carry the work to completion from there.  As Paul taught us in Philippians 1:6, “He who began a good work in you, will carry it on to completion, until the day of Christ Jesus.”

God Bless You

 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”

12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”

13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides.[d] If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.”

15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”

16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Matthew 15-Part 1–Traditons Vs God

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Jesus was focused on the mission, present the clearest picture of God and what it means to be in relationship with Him. Jesus’s greatest obstacles to that remained the religous leadership. In their continued effort to somehow upend Jesus and His ministry, they were constantly exposing their disregard for God, often most evident in their religous practice.  

 Jesus remained saddened to see the very people placed in authority, acting as the barriers between the people and God.  He called them out. “Your traditions are the very things that stand between you and God.”  

Traditions are great, until they become the focus of the religion–instead of God. Most  Jewish traditions started in response to a desire to honor God–but, as men continued to lead, the traditions became more important than God Himself. Jesus tried, time and again, to show the people that if they would simply focus on loving and following God, the rituals, rules and traditions would be obsolete.

In our lives, we are tempted to fall into the same trap. We replace our focus on God with rules and traditions regarding church attendence, denominational superiority or charitable acts. We begin to think that if we do enough of those things–we will somehow be earning our spiritual stripes.  Jesus reminds us that if we allow traditions to remain our focus, rather than God, then we will miss the best by chasing the good.  It still reflects back to Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”   

God focuses on Hos relationship with us. The religous acts, to Him are nice as long as they act as accessory to faith not a replacement. He simply wants us to trust and follow him through this part of our lives; so, we can enjoy eternity with Him!

God Bless You

Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”

Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’[a] and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[b] But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’[c]

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand.

Matthew 14 Final–Walking on Water

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Danny Gokey, country and Christian music artist recorded a song called I Believe, in it, he sang “I never met a man who walked on water, but I will still believe!” The miracle of walking on water was a high point of the faith discussion.  Jesus, mind you, had just finished feeding over 5000 folks with 5 loaves and 2 fish. He ministered to the crowd, and then sent them home. Jesus loaded the Disciples onto a boat, and sent them out onto the water; and promised to join them later.

Jesus, with a moment of privacy, went off to pray. The disciples were stranded  by  a storm and could not retrurn to get their master. All of the sudden they watched the master stroll out on the waves on foot to meet them.  They were freaking out–Jesus is walking on top of the water!??! First Jesus calms the disciples–Fear Not! Next Peter, his buddy, says I want to walk on water too! Jesus says, Sure! Hop out of the boat! Peer does it and does start walking on water. BUT, like most, he remembered, “People can’t walk on water!” he looked around, and saw the waves, and began to sink. Jesus grabbed him, they climbed back in the boat, and Jesus calmed the storm. Just another day with Jesus.

Here are a few Friday observations. 

1.  Jesus had established his authoriity of many aspects of life…healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons and cleansing lepers. But, after praying and recharging, he literally took authority over the very earth he created. He walked on water, calmed the storm, and helped peter to walk on water as well. Pretty much takes any doubt away that he is God. 

2. Jesus did take time to recharge and pray–even as the Son of God, He knew He could not do this stuff on His own. He needed the Spirit’s power and direction–to build what the Father sent Him to build.

3. Peter had amazing faith. Faith to ask to walk on water, to walk on water, and to cling to Jesus when he sank. Many question Peter’s faith because he sank, but, truth is He was the only one to trust Jesus enough to get out of the boat.

4. Despite his faith, when Peter took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the circumstances; his faith shrank and he sank into the water. Our lives often look just like that. We see God do great stuff in our lives, and then just as we are in sinc with Him; we allow life’s circumstances to overtake us, and we begin to sink. But, like Peter, we can rest assured–that even then, we can count on him to pull us up and bring us to safety. The we can watch as he calms the storms of life.

Walking on water is the miracle that can define Jesus Diety. He prayed, walked on water, saved Peter and calmed the storm–pretty impressive from any perspective. That kind of power, at least, should help us to join Peter in asking Jesus to let us join him in the Amazing Journey, Don’t You Think!!!!!

God Bless You

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.

Matthew 14 Part 1–Feeding the 5000

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

 Five loaves and two fish…really, dinner for thousands–it was the height of provision.  Jesus was having to remove himself from the limelight; after the death of John the Baptist. So, He got into a boat to withdraw, but thousands followed. He loved them, so, He healed them, and spoke to them. Then as the day progressed, Jesus not only protected and pepared them; but with the assistance of Andrew and one young man’s lunch, He provided for them–well over 5000 folks.

God does that, he brings what we need, when we need it. More importantly, Jesus does so, without frustration or worry.  He handles it with grace and ease–and in the end, He does so much more than meet the immediate need; He prepares folks for eternity.  

Personally, I have seen God deliver on His promises for almost 56 years. He took an Alaskan orphan and provided great family, upbringing, education, friends, wife, kids…Grandchild!! He has preotected me from weather–(Tidal wave, tornado, hurricane and flood), multiple car wrecks, crime and disease. I have always had a place to rest my head, clothes to cover my body, and food to feed myself and my family. He has raised me, prepared me for ministry, given me life long friends and family and eternal life.

There is little more He could do for me, and I bet for you. Like the crowd; He has healed, taught and fed us with grace and ease. All Jesus asked in return–is to trust and follow Him.  Seems fair!

God Bless You

Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Matthew 13 Part 2–Weeds and Seeds

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Why does there always seem to be those irritating and irreverent folks in and among the good ones?  Simply put, the enemy placed them there. Our enemy cannot allow the Church to grow in peace. His goal is to disrupt, and otherwise render useless, the body God has built.  But according to Jesus, one need only wait until harvest–to see that God will winnow out the weeds from the seeds.  We need not be judge, We need not be the defender of the faith!  Instead, we need simply to be planters, gardners and seed spreaders. God will separate at harvest, the wheat from the chaff; and destroy the chaff.

In addition, we need not judge the effect of the messages that God’s people share in faith.  Though they may seem small and insignificant–like a mustard seed, their effects, like the plant may be foundational, and life changing for many.  Bill Hybils started a little church in a western Chicago theater; that did not take attendance, nor did it require offerings, yet, years later, it has became an international movement that has, literally changed church as we traditionally knew it. Once again God’s work, not ours is what makes the seed a tree, and the message a movement. 

Equally important, is the reality that it does not take much dissention, to destroy the entire body–like the most trivial amount of yeast levens an entire loaf of bread. What we say and do, and how we say and do it; can have an amazing impact, or a devastating effect–our job is to simply trust God, and allow Him to lead!  These pictures (parables) that Jesus drew–remind us that God set out to show Himself and His way to all of us–no matter the time, or the culture.  If we could simply trust Him, He will lead, guide and direct us to make an impact; that, like a mustard seed, will sprout into a life changing experience.

God Bless You

 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is likeyeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[b] of flouruntil it worked all through the dough.”

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. 35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,
    I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”[c]

Matthew 13 Part 1–The Parable of the Sower

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

This is one of the most difficult truths Jesus ever told in a story.  Parables, Jesus used them a great deal.  He did it for a number of reasons. Parables were difficult to claim blasphemy over. The religious elite were trying to catch Jesus on every word–parables made that virtually impossible. Next, parables were word pictures–everyone could imagine them. Even those that did not get the principle, could easily see the picture.  Then, when the right time came, the truth would be revealed and the principle would stay for a lifetime.  Finally, parables traveled beyond generations. While we distribute crops differently in this generation, the principle survives as does the picture.

Simply put, as we spread the gospel, sometimes the message bounces off and has no affect–the seeds that hit the road, sometimes the message stirs the soul, but does not have the base to take root. When life hits, its effect whithers  and the hearer makes no change–the seeds in the rocks.  Smetimes the message takes root and really makes a change–but, the trials and temptations of life literally choke out any impact the maessage could bring to others–the weeds.  But, finally, sometimes the message makes a huge difference, it grows and spreads through the lives of the hearers to friends, family, collegues and perfect strangers.–the good soil. The critical point is that the message remains the same, but, its impact is affected by the person receiving the message, the culture where the message is spread and the ther influences in play with the person that hears it.

Modern agriculture has digitalized and auomated the sowing of seed to yeild maximum production.  The Holy Spirit has always done the same with the Gospel.  We only need to be faithful in spreading the good news; and then allow God to do what He does best to stir the hearts of those that hear it.  Make no mistake, we need to pray like crazy as we share the Gospel. We need to pray for the message, the hearer, their culture and the outside influences that may affect impact. Prayer is not the preparaion for the greater work; it is the greater work! So, like the sower lets prepare the soil, the message and the hearers in prayer to receive and be forever affected by the Gospel.

God Bless You

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

Matthew 12 Part 3–Show Us A Sign

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Throughout his ministry, Jesus continued to emphasize the importance of faith and trust in God. His toughest people to convince, were, of course, the religious elite.  In their minds, they had God figured out.  If they completed so many religious acts, then God would respond with a reward. If they failed to act, then God would punish them.  It seemed so scientific, and so easy to control.  

Jesus, conversely, tried time after time, to help all–(including these religous folk), to understand that the number of tasks and deeds were irrelevant–God wanted them to trust Him and simply follow Him. Just like the old days in the desert, allow Him to lead–and God would prepare, protect and provide.  The religous elite simply were not having it.  They wanted Jesus to show them a sign. Do one more trick–Jesus, and then we will possibly consider it…

Having healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons and made lepers clean; simply wasn’t quite enough–for these guys.  Jesus knew, and simply told them, that his ministry was not for their entertainment. He would only show them the sign of Jonah–but, He knew that the very act of dying and then ressurecting still would not be enough.  These guys hearts were aready pledged–to the enemy!

In our lives, we have to trust God.  He does things we could never imagine in our lives. But he does those things not to gain our trust, but, because of it.  He does not mind answering the prayers of those that genuinely seek Him. He does, however, refuse to be a Vaudville act for sceptics and fools.  We must simply trust Him to lead, guide and direct us through this journey–then, as we do, He will make the journey both amazing and complete.  As the old hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way; to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!”

God Bless You

Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

43 “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45 Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”