Matthew 7: Non-Believers Favorite and Believers Scariest Bible Passage
October 26, 2021
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
- Contextual Point: In Matthew 5:20, Jesus says that, “unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees then we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
- In Jesus’ day, judgment was often attributed to righteousness, but Jesus corrects that line of thinking here.
Judgment is a
- God’s measures us in comparison to Himself and fulfilling our created purpose
- Often, we measure ourselves against other people
- God measures us proportionally, not quantitatively
- Remember the greek “Apodidomi” = receive proportional reward
- When we measure ourselves against men, but not God’s standards, we condemn ourselves
*A loving heart is not judgmental. A judgmental heart leads to pride, arrogance, and hate
- NOTE: He says do not pass judgment, NOT to not hold others accountable
- First command Jesus gives the church (Ecclesia) is to confront sin – Matthew 18:15-20
*To judge is to make affirmative conclusions about someone’s character, fault, or fate. Accountability is to reinforce common, agreed upon standards
- My Parable: The father of a man on trial watched as a jury passed a harsh judgment for a petty crime on his son. In that time, the father pled for mercy for his son, but his son did not receive it. Later that same father stood as a juror for the trial of one of the juror’s for his son. The man pled for mercy. Similarly, his judgment was harsh. Inversely, if that same juror passed a lenient sentence with grace for his son, the father would have probably shown similar grace. Hence, this is the cycle of the world.
- How we break this command
- Think the worse of others
- Speak of others faults
- Assign identity to someone from their worst moments in life
- Assume hidden motives
- Assume or lack a context before reaching conclusions
- We don’t “put ourselves in their shoes” and ask if that treatment is what I would desire
*We should approach life with the understanding that as we Put people on trial, we have a trial of our own coming some day
- Non-believers favorite passage because they take any conviction of sin as judgment, because they internally know in their hearts that sin leads to judgment. If you define the sin, you then “pass” judgment
*Often, our own judgments reveal our own sin. Example: why is tithing “greedy” for God but not “greedy” for you to refrain from it?
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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are 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 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
- A Theme of Christ’s Teaching throughout His ministry
- Matthew 5:7 – Blessed are the merciful
- Matthew 6:1 / Matthew 6:4 – Apodidomi (Reward of receiving equal proportion)
- Matthew 6:14-15 – God will forgive you as you forgive others
- Matthew 7:12 – Golden Rule
- Matthew 22:35-40 – Love others as you love yourself
- In every situation, context, or offense, ask the question, “If this was me, how would I want to be treated? Loved? Judged?”
- ASK, SEEK, and KNOCK
Notice the persistency and passion Christ says we should pray with
- God sincerely wants to bless you, if you sincerely seek him
- NOTE: Remember last week, we worry because we forget or lose trust that God loves us. Jesus reaffirms that WE have a capacity to love deeply (See Matthew 22:35-40) and we are evil, then how much deeper is God’s love for us?
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
- Prophet is anyone who communicates with God (All of us) and deliver messages from God (pastors, teachers, etc.)
- He says, watch the fruit and it shows you who is sincere
- Ask the questions, “What do they give and what do they take?”
- The false prophet is a hypocrite because while they may say the right things, their intention for teaching and what they teach is not God’s message but their own
- Good intentions/heart leads to good fruit. Corrupt intention corrupt our fruit
*Just as Jesus just taught to “take the speck out of your own eye,” before we begin to measure false prophets, teachers, pastors, etc., we first must ask, “Do I produce good fruit in my life? Are my intentions for God or my own? Do I bend God’s message to my message?” Am I the “False Prophet” Jesus speaks of?
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.
*Modern Christianity has reduced the Christian journey to answering one question: Do I know Jesus? But that is not what Jesus’ question was. Jesus asks, “Do I know you?” as the standard for entrance into the kingdom.
- Greek word: Ginosko means to intimately know someone through personal experience. Used to describe sexual intimacy
- I know a lot about WWII, but I don’t have a Ginosko knowledge of WWII
- Similarly, Christ says its not about knowing a lot about God, but knowing God
Example: Job Recommendations from people we don’t know
- The message the type of person Jesus is talking to may have been correct, but their intention was not. They carry the message of God’s kingdom but do not live with intention for it
- Example: See the demon possessed man in Acts 19:13-16
- 13 Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 15 One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.
- They invoked the authority and power of Jesus through Paul’s association/Ginsosko knowledge, not their own
Question: Is your spiritual life one that even the enemy knows your name?
- We like to piggyback off the intimacy of our parents, but make it simply tradition for us
- Of the statements made, notice that each were invoked through the character (power/authority) of Jesus, but God’s glory and power is not contingent on your intimate relationship with him. Those works meant nothing without true fellowship with God
*The power is not in a hollow, superficial name, but the character behind the name. Similarly, your salvation is not based on saying some superficial, hollow words/prayer but by the sincere repentance behind those words.
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
- Jesus concludes the sermon with this parable
- Main theme of His sermon:
- Its all about your heart and intention
- The Golden Rule
- Rooting out hypocrisy (fake believers) from real believers
- In this parable, Jesus says the difference between the two houses is not how the look on the outside, but what was different on what was unseen: the foundation
- He ultimately concludes them with this: The Gospel SYSTEM is the foundation for our lives.
- While many “look like real believers” they will ultimately be exposed and destroyed
- “Vs. 27: the house fell, and great was the fall”
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
- They were astonished
- Taught with authority
Questions for Guided Discussion
- Read vs. 1-6: How does Judgment differ from calling people to repentance? How does Judgement differ from brotherly accountability? How do we properly respond to those who abuse this teaching to rebuke correction?
- How does a judging heart lead to hate? How does love lead to grace?
- How often do you reach conclusions about people, their intent, or their faith without proper context? Give examples of how we judgmentally assign identities to people.
- Reflect on the fact that we will all stand trial in judgment. Are you judging people, or their situations with the same character you wish to be judged?
- Read vs. 7-12: Jesus says the “golden rule” is the law of the prophets: treat others as you wish to be treated. The command is so simple, but why is it so hard to do? What keeps us from remembering, or doing this one thing?
- Read vs. 15-20: Jesus says we must watch the “fruit” to guard against false prophets/teachers/pastors. What does good fruit look like in a pastor, teacher, or leader in the church? What does bad fruit look like?
- Read vs. 3 again: Jesus says we first must take the log out of our own eye. How often do we hold other people to a higher measure than we hold ourselves? How often do we hold the world to higher standards then we hold the church of Christ?
- If we produce the same fruit that “false” prophets, teachers, and pastors do, then do we condemn ourselves? Does that then make us “false” Christians if we pursue the same intentions of money/power/fame driven by those false prophets, teachers, and pastors?
- Read vs. 21-23: Does this verse scare you? How do we abuse Christ’s name from false intentions? Politics? Winning arguments? Narcissistic faith?
- Many know Jesus, but how many does Jesus really know? Does asking the second question elevate your standard of personal faith?
- Is the name “disciple” or “follower” of Christ prove superficial or hollow to you? Are you piggybacking off of someone elses intimacy with Jesus, or do you have a real, personal fellowship with him? What does that intimacy look like?