Do Not Judge
1“Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and you will not be judged. # 7:1 It is God’s judgment that is being implied by the passive verbs. 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. # 7:2 See Rom. 2:1. 3Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own? # 7:3 Or “Why do you see a speck in your brother’s eye but fail to see the beam of wood sticking out of your own eye?” 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 and deal with your own ‘blind spots,’ and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend. # 7:5 Or “You hypocrite, why don’t you first remove the beam sticking out of your own eye? Then you can see clearly to remove the small speck out of your brother’s eye.” Jesus is clearly teaching that our blind spots prevent us from accurately evaluating the needs of others.
6“Who would hang earrings on a dog’s ear or throw pearls # 7:6 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “Don’t let the dogs have consecrated [holy] meat.” The Aramaic word for “earrings” is almost identical to the word for “holy.” Earrings and pearls are symbols of spiritual truths given to us by God. They give us beautiful “ears” to hear his voice and impart lovely pearls of wisdom, which are not to be regarded lightly or shared with those who have their hearts closed. The Aramaic word for “throw” is almost identical to the word for “to instruct” or “to teach.” The value of wisdom is not appreciated by those who have no ears to hear it. 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. # 7:8 Clement of Alexandria attributes an additional saying to Jesus and states that it is from the Hebrew Matthew: “The one who seeks should not cease until he finds, and in finding he shall marvel, and having marveled he shall reign, and having reigned he shall rest.” Miscellanies 2.9 (de Santos 3; Lagrange 9) and Miscellanies 5.14 (de Santos 4; Lagrange 10).
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, # 7:11 Or “although you are evil.” 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 # 7:11 Hebrew Matthew is “give his good Spirit,” a reference to asking for the Holy Spirit. See also Luke 11:13. 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, # 7:12 This is known as the “Golden Rule,” which is the ethic of treating others the same way that we want to be treated. It is the essence of love that fulfills all the expectations of the Law. for that is the essence of all the teachings of the Law and the Prophets.13 Enter through the narrow gate # 7:13 In context, Jesus connects the narrow gate to the “Golden Rule.” Love is the true gateway that leads to life, for God is love. 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! # 7:15 Hebrew Matthew adds a phrase, “They are full of deceit as wild, ravenous wolves.” See Ezek. 22:27; Acts 20:29; Mic. 3:5; John 10:12. There is at least a hint here of the Benjamite prophecy found in Gen. 49:27. 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 deserves to be cut down and burned. 20You’ll know them by the obvious fruit of their lives and ministries.”
Jesus Warns of Pretenders
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into 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 # 7:22 Or “preach in your name.” in your name? Didn’t we cast out demons and do many miracles in your name?’ 23But I will have to say to them, ‘Go away from me, you lawless rebels! I’ve never been joined to you!’ # 7:23 The Aramaic can be translated “From everlasting I have not known 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 # 7:25 Or “rivers.” See also Song. 8:7. 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.” # 7:27 Or “and great was its fall!”
28By the time Jesus finished speaking, the crowds were awestruck # 7:28 The Greek word used here, ekplesso, is a strong verb that means “awestruck, filled with amazement, astonished, panic stricken, something that takes your breath away (being hit with a blow), to be shocked, to expel, to drive out.” Clearly, Jesus spoke with such glory and power emanating from him that his words were like thunderbolts in their hearts. May we hear his words in the same way today. by his teaching, 29because his words carried such great authority, quite unlike the religious scholars. # 7:29 Or “scribes” (experts of the Law). Jesus taught from an inner knowledge of God and his Word, for his teaching emphasized obedience to God from the heart, not just outwardly keeping laws.
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