So, what do Pee Wee and O.J. have in common?
As I think through this last article in our five-part journey through Matthew 12:33–37, I have been reminded and God has reinforced three things in me that we will cover. This month we are going to cover Matthew 12:37:
“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
We will see the power of words—not in some heretical Joel Osteen way—but as a barometer of the human heart. However, before we get started, let’s look at one person who was acquitted and one person who was convicted by our justice system here in America. Both are well-known actors. Here a quick question I want you to ponder as you read. What do you have in common with both of these men?
O.J. was a famous football star that was worth millions, and some would say that it was his money and the team of lawyers he had that got him acquitted for the murder of Nicole Brown. Being guilty or innocent is not the point of this article; nevertheless, you can refresh yourself on the story.
At the end of a sensational trial, former football star O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the brutal 1994 double murder of his estranged wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. In the epic 252-day trial, Simpson’s “dream team” of lawyers employed creative and controversial methods to convince jurors that Simpson’s guilt had not been proved “beyond a reasonable doubt,” thus surmounting what the prosecution called a “mountain of evidence” implicating him as the murderer.
Pee Wee Herman
If you grew up in the 90’s, Pee Wee Herman was a household name. He had a very famous T.V. show that was watched by millions. He was convicted of crimes against children, found below:
The actor, better known as Pee-wee Herman, was sentenced to three years’ probation in 2004 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor obscenity charge involving photographs in his possession. Prosecutors dismissed a charge of child pornography, but Reubens agreed to pay a US $100 fine, enter a counseling program, and register as a sex offender for the duration of his probation.
One actor was acquitted, and one was convicted. I want to use both of these cases as a point of reference as we compare both to the holy justice of God. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson left some furious and demanding justice. The conviction of Pee Wee Herman left millions feeling betrayed by a T.V. personality. In neither of these cases do we see the level of justice as we find in Matthew 12:33–37.
There is a sense of holy purity found in this holy text. Before we move forward, let’s review the four parts and Missy’s article. In April, I covered the unavoidable accountability to our Creator. In March, I covered comparing good and evil to see the difference. In February, I covered listening exposes what is in the heart. Back in January, I covered why every man-made movement will fail. Then, in May I took a small break and allowed our guest writer Missy Reopnack to bring you a powerful article for such a time as this. This month I am covering the pure justice of God.
So, what do Pee Wee and O.J. have in common? They were both tried by their fellow man under our judicial system. How does this compare to the truth we find in Matthew’s Gospel? It really does not compare. The level of accountability is raised exponentially. When you read this, some of you cringe, and some of you tremble a bit inside realizing how reckless you have been with your words in the past.
Surely, we will not be condemned by something we say. Surely, we can’t be acquitted by something we say. Words cannot have that kind of power. Here are three points that will help you see the text clearly, and in return, help you think God’s thoughts after him.
1. Words show us what is in the recesses of our hearts, and in a flash, it spews forth bringing either death or life/ Acquittal or Conviction.
We cannot forget the overarching view of the context. The religious leaders were saying that Jesus was demon possessed. They were intimidated by Jesus’ authority and they were scared of losing their positions of power and influence over the people. They were also scared of losing their favor with the Roman government. They were speaking against the God that was performing all these miracles and cofounding the most-learned with His teaching. Their words showed their rebellion against God’s law.
If anyone should have known the signs that would reveal the coming Messiah, the Jews religious leaders were the group. They were saying the God the Holy Spirit was a demon Bezubulb. Yikes! Their hearts were put on full display for everyone to see. These men are condemned guilty. Give a little grace, right? Who are we to question God? How can men be condemned by their words? Call our federal law enforcement officers and threaten the commander and chief; you will find out quickly how words will condemn you. The religious leaders were speaking against the universal law of all creation.
We as a people have really forgotten how holy God is, and saying anything against Him, taking his name in vain, and equating the holy work of God to Satan is cosmic treason. Nevertheless, there is good news!
2. Words will acquit you.
Now that we have driven back to Biblical thinking, let’s ponder the words that bring about acquittal for the human soul. Luke 18:13 reads, “But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’” This is a sign of a heart that is changing; a heart that is repentant; a heart full of faith in what Jesus Christ can do; a heart overflowing with reality of what he deserves yet being acquitted by Jesus’s eternal mercy because he had the humility to repent.
How can a word forgive someone?
“They did nothing for it. He did no community service. He paid no fine. He served no prison sentence. He must work to be forgiven.”
First, works based salvation is a plague of mankind. You can do nothing to earn this grace. Second, once you receive it, you cannot stop serving for the King that gave you grace. The first is a plague that separates millions from the almighty God that saves, and the second sets you free the serve Him forever. Works cannot save, but repentance of the heart and faith in Christ can.
3. Words will condemn you.
It was just that the religious leaders were condemned by their indictment against Jesus. No one should give credit to a demon for what the great triune God does through God the Holy Spirit. I asked a question at the beginning of the article. What do you, O.J., and Pee Wee Herman have in common? The commonality between you, O.J., and Pee Wee Herman is one word. Sin. If your words were to be put up on a power point presentation for a crowd of millions to see, what would it show about your heart? How many blaspheming words have you made against God this week? How many people have you ripped apart with your words to leave bleeding on the floor by the force of your unrepentant verbal rampage?
All these unrepentant words that spewed from your mouth will condemn you before the king of all the universe. If you either rejoiced or were enraged by the verdict for O.J. Simpson, it will not matter on that day. You will be judged by a creator who knows the intent of your heart and the words that come out of it will be evidence for either your condemnation or acquittal.
If you felt betrayed by Pee Wee Herman, that does not matter. You need that same mercy that he needs. Be acquitted of your sins today by repenting and placing your faith in Christ See Jesus as the savior He really is. If you have repented and placed your faith in Christ Rejoice because of the fruit that it is bearing. If we can either help you in understanding how to walk with Jesus or send you a free Bible, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.