Do Not Judge
1“Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment will not be passed on you. 2For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you. 3Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own? 4How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you’re guilty of even more? 5You’re being hypercritical and a hypocrite! First acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend.
6“Who would hang earrings on a dog’s ear or throw pearls in front of wild pigs? They’ll only trample them under their feet and then turn around and tear you to pieces!
7“Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.
9“Do you know of any parent who would give his hungry child, who asked for food, a plate of rocks instead? 10Or when asked for a piece of fish, what parent would offer his child a snake instead? 11If you, imperfect as you are, know how to lovingly take care of your children and give them what’s best, how much more ready is your heavenly Father to give wonderful gifts to those who ask him?”
The Golden Rule
12“In everything you do, be careful to treat others in the same way you’d want them to treat you, for that is the essence of all the teachings of the Law and the Prophets.”
The Narrow Gate
13“Come to God through the narrow gate, because the wide gate and broad path is the way that leads to destruction—nearly everyone chooses that crowded road! 14The narrow gate and the difficult way leads to eternal life—so few even find it!”
15“Constantly be on your guard against phony prophets. They come disguised as lambs, appearing to be genuine, but on the inside they are like wild, ravenous wolves! 16You can spot them by their actions, for the fruits of their character will be obvious. You won’t find sweet grapes hanging on a thorn bush, and you’ll never pick good fruit from a tumbleweed. 17-19So if the tree is good, it will produce good fruit; but if the tree is bad, it will bear only rotten fruit and it deserves to be cut down and burned. 20Look at the obvious fruit of their lives and ministries, and then you’ll know whether they are true or false.”
Jesus Warns of Pretenders
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the realm of heaven’s kingdom. It is only those who persist in doing the will of my heavenly Father. 22On the day of judgment many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, don’t you remember us? Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we cast out demons and do many miracles for the sake of your name?’ 23But I will have to say to them, ‘Go away from me, you lawless rebels! I’ve never been joined to you!’
24“Everyone who hears my teaching and applies it to his life can be compared to a wise man who built his house on an unshakable foundation. 25When the rains fell and the flood came, with fierce winds beating upon his house, it stood firm because of its strong foundation.
26“But everyone who hears my teaching and does not apply it to his life can be compared to a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27When it rained and rained and the flood came, with wind and waves beating upon his house, it collapsed and was swept away.”
28By the time Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were dazed and overwhelmed by his teaching, 29because his words carried such great authority, quite unlike their religious scholars.