The corresponding passage, Matt. 12 43-45, appears to indicate that primarily the meaning applied to the Jewish nation. It had repented or reformed under the preaching of the Baptist, "cleaned up," as the modern phrase has it, but had not gone on as it should, to acceptance of Christ and righteousness toward God. The negative goodness was to be followed by a worse national condition, in which the Lord would be crucified. It is as if a nation was led to forsake idols, but instead of becoming Christian became atheistic. In the individual the reference is to a man weaned from some besetting sin, but not taking the grace of God into his heart, and replacing the love of sin with love of God and holiness, leaves the heart unoccupied ready for a return of the sin he had quitted, or the fall into something still worse.