1. Matthew 7:1-6 – Do Not Judge
Do Not Judge
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
The words Christ spoke here of not judging others, points to a tendency inherent in human nature and so is applicable to all people, but also at the same time remember a special bearing on the Jews. They were God’s chosen people, and took it upon themselves to judge other nations. So likewise the Christian world also falls into the same pattern. Just as Christ warned us of this, we can see the same warning in Romans 2:3 ” And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same , that you will escape the judgment of God?”. It also says in 1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the heart.” The same is also spoken in James 4:11 “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.”
The context makes it clear that the thing condemned here is when we look unfavorably on someone else and their actions which then leads to rash, unjust and unlovely judgments on them. What Christ aims at here is the spirit out of which we judge. By doing this we are violating the law of love and the argument against it is that, we will also be judged on that great day.
Christ directs us to the proper way of forming opinion on others and also the way in which we should correct them. The step we must take is to amend our own faults, and casting the beam out of our own eye. By doing this we consistently advance to correct the faults of others. This way there will be no hypocrisy in our conduct, and we will also see clearly on such things because the beam that is obscuring our sight will be removed and we will more clearly discern the small object that obscures the sight of our brother.
Verse 6 speaks of “What is holy”. The words here points to the flesh which has been offered for sacrifice, the “holy thing”, which no unclean person or stranger or beast was to eat. We read this in Leviticus 22:6-7 “the person who has touched any such thing shall be unclean till evening, and shall not eat the holy offerings unless he washes his body with water. And when the sun goes down he shall be clean; and afterward he may eat the holy offerings, because it is his food.” Dogs and swine at the time were considered unclean. So to give this holy flesh to the dogs would have seemed to the devout Israelite’s, the greatest of all profanations.
The Lord is teaching us that there is also a risk of desecration in dealing with the holier treasure of divine truth. Another aspect of the same warning is bought out in the clause. Pearls were the costliest jewels in those days and they too became symbols of the preciousness of truth. The dogs and swine on the other hand represent distinct forms of evil. The dogs represent impurity as it says in Philippians 3:2 “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of mutilation!” and in the case of swine represents ferocity Psalm 80:13 “The boar out of the woods uproots it, and the wild beast of the field devours it.”
So in presenting the Gospel we must also be wise in presenting the truth to those who make themselves worse by hearing the word. Is this then forgetting the previous teaching of judgment? The answer to this question is not that we are representing those men and women as dogs or swine, but it is the passions of this kind that make them brutish. People of such opposition and passion to the gospel message of Jesus Christ, we must deal cautiously and wisely with them.
2. Matthew 7:7-12 -Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
Keep Asking, Seeking, Knocking
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Ask and it shall be given to you – There are three different forms presented of seeking the things which we need from God:
The phrases here signify, to seek with earnestness, diligence and perseverance. The promise is that what we seek shall be given to us. It is of course implied that we seek with with a proper spirit, with humility, sincerity and perseverance. It is also implied that we ask for the things which is consistent for God to give, which are those things which He has promised to give, and which would be best for us and most for His honor. 1 John 5:14 says “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
God is willing to provide for us, to forgive our sins, to save our souls, to be with us in trial, to comfort us in death and to extend the gospel through the world. There is nothing higher we can ask.
Christ encourages us to do this, just as we do to our parents. No parent turns away their child that would cause them harm. He would not give him a stone, instead of bread, or a serpent instead of a fish. God is better and kinder than the most tender earthly parents. So we can come before Him with confidence as His children and ask what we need. Parents, He says are evil; meaning that they are imperfect, often partial. But God is free from all this and is therefore willing and able to aid us.
Everyone who asks will receive. So whoever asks with a right heart and prays in faith, and in submission to the will of Go will receive. He may not always give us the very thing we ask, but He always gives what is better. Just like a parent, who will not always give what a child would ask, but will always give what he thinks will be most good for the child. The Apostle Paul asked that the thorn from his flesh be removed. God did not literally grant that request, but told him that His grace is sufficient for him, in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 “7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ”
3. Matthew 7:13-14 – The Narrow Way
The Narrow Way
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
Christ here compares the way to life to an entrance through a gate. The Savior here referred probably to ancient cities, where they were surrounded with walls and entered through gates. Some cities had very large gates and admitted many people to enter without any problems, but others were for more private purposes, were narrow and only a few could be seen entering them..
So Christ is the path to heaven. It is a narrow path, and is not the great highway that people tread. Only a few go there. You may see some here and there, traveling alone. The way to death however is broad. There are many in it and is the great highway in which people go. They fall into it easily and without effort and go without any thought. Christ tells us that diligence is needed to enter life. It says in Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able…”.
All must strive to obtain it. It is narrow, unfrequented and a solitary path, that only a few find it. Let us be careful to strive to walk in the path that leads to Christ Jesus our savior, and when we enter that city which is Christ, we are safe in His presence, receiving eternal life.
4. Matthew 7:15-20 – You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Beware of false prophets, those who in their preaching describe a broad way to heaven. False prophets are those that teach any other way other than the gospel message of Jesus Christ and the written Word of God. These are the type of people who comes in sheep’s clothing, putting on a form of godliness with professions of love; but on the inside they are ravening wolves, destroying souls and feeding themselves by the destruction of the flock.
Christ has given us a simple rule to distinguish the true prophets from the false prophets. True prophets convert sinners to God; or at least confirm and strengthen those that are converted.You will know them by the fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, self-control etc. False prophets do not do this.False prophets aim to prevent men from entering through the straight and narrow way and becoming a true follower of Christ, but allows soothing, carnal, flattering doctrines to be accepted and oppose the intended truth of the Word of God. By their actions and their fruits we will be able to distinguish them.
5. Matthew 7:21-23 – I Never Knew You
I Never Knew You
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Are we confessing our faith with out mouth, but are not walking in the will of God? This is what the Lord is talking about here. We get a confirmation of this from John 7:17 “If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on my own authority.” So we are taught here that it is by doing the will of God ourselves and by willing to do it we gain the power to distinguish truth from lies and man’s teaching from God’s.
So what we need to realize is that, not everyone who calls, Lord, Lord shall be saved. But those who are His true disciples, who call Him Lord Lord and who endeavors to do the whole will of God in faith and holiness will be saved. These are they that comply with the holy, acceptable and perfect will of God. So let us be careful to not only profess our faith with our words and our tongue, but it is also necessary to repent of our sin, live a holy life and love one another. This is His will.
6. Matthew 7:24-29 – Build on the Rock
Build on the Rock
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Christ by declaring “Therefore whoever hears”, the importance and truth of the sermon he had just preached and applies it to the consciences of His hearers. Christ is saying, let all those who have heard this consider, understand, believe and obey the doctrine which the Lord had just taught the people. Whoever has understood this teaching and does them are wise. Whoever or whatever they had done previously is now brought to repentance and amendment of life. He has become a new person and laid a strong foundation for his faith and everlasting security and joy.
So let us also observe this teaching. 1 Corinthians 3:11 says “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Let us not pretend in vain to build on Him if we do not obey His doctrine and make it the rule of our whole conduct. So when we read this there is no inconsistency between the doctrine spoken of by Jesus and that of the apostle in the passage we just read.
Christ speaks of the rain, floods and wind that beat against us implying that even when we build our life upon the rock which is Christ, there will be trials and struggles and we will be severely tried. But because our foundation is Christ the rock, we shall not fall. The true Christian will remain unshaken, however severely or violently we are hit.
So let us put this Word into practice, not just to hear the words, but put it into practice. The one who does not do this is called foolish. This is someone who does not take care to lay any firm foundation, as if to be sure that there will be no wintry storm or tempest that would come against them. For such a house, when the rain beats down, when the floods come and the winds beat against the house, it will fall. If the foundation is not firm in your heart, however beautiful, big and glamorous the house may be on the outside, it will undoubtedly fall, there is no security in it, and great will be the fall. Its not what is on the outside that is important, but what is on the inside, to build a strong foundation, upon Christ the rock, who is our redeemer and our salvation.
If you have never given your life to Christ, and you feel the call of God in your heart. Now is the time to respond and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
You can receive remission of your sins, not by your own works, but through faith in Jesus Christ who already paid the price for us. All you have to do is to accept his sacrifice in your place as a free gift. Take this moment to declare you have accepted the free gift by saying the following prayer:
“God I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve the consequences of my sin. However I am trusting in Jesus Christ as my Savior. I believe that His death and resurrection provided for my forgiveness. I trust in Jesus and Jesus alone as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank you Lord, for saving me and forgiving me. Amen.”
If you would like to know more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ, please contact us and we would love to talk to you about living a life with Jesus as the center of your life.
Bible reading: New King James Version (NKJV)
Resources: Various Bible Commentaries