Matthew Chapter 7
Verses 1-4: “Judge not” refers to an unfavorable and condemnatory judgment. This does not mean that a Christian should never exercise judgment of any kind under any circumstances. The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another.
We are not to render a verdict based upon prejudiced information. Nor are we to use ourselves as the standard of judgment for “with what … ye mete” (measure) you shall be judged. “That ye be not judged” refers to the ultimate judgment of God rather than our own judgment.
Matthew 7:1 “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
“Judge not”: As the context reveals, this does not prohibit all types of judging (verse 16). There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise with careful discernment (John 7:24). Censorious, hypocritical, self–righteous, or other kinds of unfair judgments are forbidden, but in order to fulfill the commandments that follow, it is necessary to discern dogs and swine (verse 6), from one’s own brethren (verses 3-5).
Matthew 7:2 “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”
This Scripture above in not saying not to ever judge, but rather is saying with whatever severity you judge someone else, God will judge you. We cannot, even if we wanted to, be someone else’s judge. Jesus is the final Judge, and each person shall stand before Him in judgment.
We must not condemn someone else for smoking, if we smoke. We must not tell someone God will not forgive them for overeating, if we over eat. We need to examine ourselves and get forgiveness for our own sins, before we start pointing them out in someone else.
God expects us to consider, in ourselves, if someone is truly of God, before we blindly follow him. It is not for us to say whether he is saved or not. That is between him and God. Whatever we might say is just our opinion.
The Bible says that if we know one of our brothers or sisters is involved in sin, go to him and tell him. If he does not listen, take a witness. Then if he does not listen; stop fellow-shipping with him. Even then, whether God forgives him or not, is not our business. The only judgment that is allowed is whether we should fellowship with him or not. Jesus is the final Judge of his outcome.
Matthew 7:3-4 “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye?”
The terms “mote” (Greek karphos), and “beam” (Greek dokos), are used metaphorically for a small fault and a great fault. A mote is a small speck of sawdust whereas a beam is a rafter used
in building. Thus the idea of the text is that one cannot remove the speck from his brother’s eye until he has removed the rafter from his own eye!
Verses 5-6: “Thou hypocrite” is the only statement that can be made for this play actor who pretends to be a physician when he himself is sick. The “dogs” and “swine” refer to those who have deliberately rejected the message of truth. These particular animals were especially repulsive to Jesus’ audience.
Matthew 7:5 “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
One lesson in the Bible comes so clearly to mind in all of this. The religious people of the day brought the woman (caught in the very act of adultery), to Jesus to stone her to death. Jesus told them anyone that was without sin cast the first stone. Jesus then leaned over and wrote something in the sand.
(I believe He wrote the sins of those self-righteous people). Of course they all left the woman. Jesus told the woman that He did not condemn her, and to go and sin no more. This is the most vivid example of this Scripture above (John 8:3-11).
Ministers and people proclaiming Christianity need to live clean lives, not giving even the appearance of evil. Then, through love and concern, we can encourage others to clean their lives up; not through condemnation but love.
Matthew 7:6 “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs”: This principle is why Jesus Himself did not do miracles for unbelievers (13:58). This is to be done in respect for what is holy, not merely out of contempt for the dogs and swine. Nothing here contradicts the principle of (5:44). That verse governs personal dealings with one’s enemies; this principle governs how one handles the gospel in the face of those who hate the truth.
“Dogs”, in the sense above, are low morale and low character people, who have no intention of coming to Christ. It is as if the lesson to be learned here is saying: when you see there is no hope to regenerate them, leave them in their own mire of sin.
Do not get in there with them and let them destroy you and the treasures (spiritual), that you have obtained from God. Don’t stay around and listen to them blaspheme your Savior. Do not wallow in the sin (mud), with them. It will not clean them up. It will dirty you up.
Verses 7-10: The three imperatives; “ask, seek,” and “knock” are in the present tense of the original language, suggesting both perseverance and frequent prayer. Fervent and continual prayer is to be made on behalf of those for whom we are concerned.
God promises to answer all genuine prayer (verse 8). Everything we need for spiritual success has been promised to us. God leaves us no excuse for failure.
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”
Both Jesus (Luke 18:1), and Paul (1 Tim. 2:1), emphasized the importance of prayer, noting that people ought always to pray. Prayer includes asking and getting answers from God. But it is more than just asking; it is confession, adoration, thanksgiving and fellowship with God. By its nature, prayer is talking with God.
It is the basis of the successful Christian life, and is so important that not praying is considered a sin (1 Sam. 12:23). When we pray, we should follow the model prayer Jesus gave His disciples and address it to our heavenly Father, beginning with adoration, including thanksgiving and confession of sins, making reconciliation with others, praying for our needs and the needs of others, and concluding in Jesus’ name (6:9-15; John 14:14).
Jesus pointed out that God heard the prayer of a humble publican rather than that of a proud Pharisee (Luke 18:14). God will answer our prayer when we obey Him (1 John 3:22), confess sin (Psalm 66:18), abide in Christ (John 15:7), ask according to the will of God (1 John 5:14), ask in faith (Mark 11:24), have pure motives (James 4:3), and live peaceably with our mate (1 Pet. 3:7).
Matthew 7:8 “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
We have not, because we ask not. When we ask God for anything in Jesus’ name, God hears us. Actually, just praying in the name of Jesus, recognizes Jesus for who He really is. If you truly search for God, you will find Him. God is always there, just waiting for us to take one step toward Him, and He will do the rest.
God is not hard to find. Just pray and read the Bible, and you will find that He is with you all the time. In fact, invite him inside of you, and He will be in you always.
Matthew 7:9-10 “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?” “Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?”
If his son shall ask bread, will he give him a stone? The assurance of an answer to prayer is based on the fact that God is our Father. He treats his children as a good and wise earthly parent would. No kind parent would mock his child by answering his cry for bread with stones. Bread and fish were the chief articles of food of the Galilean peasant.
Verses 11-12: Jesus illustrated His point by comparing the willingness of a human father to give his child a gift with our heavenly Father who will gladly give us what we need. The term “evil” verse 11, is used here of man’s sinful nature. Even sinful men are kind to their children; therefore, “how much more” shall your heavenly Father delight to answer your prayers.
Hence, rather than judging others, we are to treat them as we would like to be treated.
The statement in verse 12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them,” is the biblical injunction often called the “Golden Rule.” “This is the law and the prophets”, indicates that the statement made here by Jesus is not intended to be novel, but rather a summarization of the second table of the law.
Matthew 7:11 “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
“Being evil”: Jesus presupposes the doctrine of human depravity.
“How much more”: If earthly fathers give what their sons need (verses 9-10), will not God give to His sons what they ask (verses 7-8)?
Parents love their children and will give them freely all the things that they have to give. Human love is not even closely compared to the great love that God has for mankind. Man’s love is conditional. God’s love is unconditional, expecting nothing in return.
God loved us while we were yet in sin, so much he gave His only begotten Son to a cruel death on the cross, that we might be saved. It is such a little thing, in comparison, for God to answer our prayers. So little is required of us, just believe on Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
“Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you”: versions of the “Golden Rule” existed before Christ, in the rabbinic writings and even in Hinduism and Buddhism. All of them cast the rule as a negative command, such as Rabbi Hillel’s version, “What is hateful to yourself do not to someone else.”
Jesus made it a positive command, enriching its meaning and underscoring that this one imperative aptly summarizes the whole gist of the ethical principles contained in the Law and the Prophets.
Here again, we see that we should expect the same kind of treatment that we give. Giving is very much a part of receiving.
Verses 13-14: The closing section of the Sermon on the Mount presents two choices to the listener. These are presented in a series of contrasts: two ways (verses 13-14); two trees (verses 15-20); two professions (verses 21-23); and two foundations (verses 24-29). This was a common method of teaching in both Jewish and Greco-Roman thought.
Both the narrow gate and the wide gate are assumed to provide the entrance to God’s kingdom. Two ways are offered to people. The narrow gate is by faith, only through Christ, constricted and precise. It represents true salvation of God’s way that leads to life eternal. The wide gate includes all religions of works, and self-righteousness, with no single way (Acts 4:12), but it leads to hell, not heaven.
“Enter ye in at the strait gate” (narrow), means that one must come through the narrow gate in order to reach the path that leads to eternal life. Though many are on the “broad … way, that leadeth to destruction” (eternal separation from God), the gate that leads to life is so narrow that “few there be that find it.”
Christ Himself is both the gate and the way (John 14:6), and God enables men to find that gate (John 6:44).
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:” “Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
“Narrow is the way”: Christ continually emphasized the difficulty of following Him (10:38; 16:24-25; John 15:18-19; 16:1-3; Acts 14:22). Salvation is by grace alone, but is not easy. It calls for knowledge of the truth, repentance, submission to Christ as Lord, and a willingness to obey His will and Word.
We all know it is easy to sin. The world is full of sin of every kind. I heard a lady say that a book will lay on the shelf and never be sold, unless it had sex and violence in it. The television set, which has been some people’s God, is just not fit to watch.
News programs, ball games, and maybe one or two of the game shows are just about the only shows that do not teach us new ways to sin. Little girls have no idea what a real marriage is. Young girls think marriage is a long honeymoon. They base what they think marriage is from the absurd episodes in the soap operas. They have gotten so popular that they are now on night television.
Even on a show that doesn’t have nakedness, there is cursing and every other kind of sin imaginable. The commercial breaks have Satan’s music trying to sell you some product. Mind control is ardently practiced. There is even some woman offering to read your horoscope advertised.
(Nearly every one of the numbers you can call that is given for your month, has the number “666 (mark of the beast) in it”. Even this one thing should tell you that there is something wrong. God warns us in all sorts of ways. We seldom heed His warnings.
I believe that alcoholic beverages are sold in half the places that sell milk and groceries. Young people’s heroes advertise beer and whisky, and cause the young people to believe it is okay.
If we do not discipline ourselves to walk the walk with Christ, then yes, we will wallow around on the wide road which leads to our destruction.
In 1 Thessalonians chapter 4, the whole chapter calls us to Godliness; following the narrow path. I will use one little verse that tells it all.
1 Thessalonians 4:7 “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.”
God does not want someone lackadaisical following Him. He wants people with pure intentions, with their eyes constantly on the goal (Him), steadfastly staying in the path of righteousness, which leads to everlasting life with Him.
Matthew Chapter 7 Questions
- Why should we not judge?
- Does this mean that we should never, in any circumstance, judge?
- Who shall we stand before in judgment on Judgment Day?
- What must we be careful to do, before we start telling someone else what to do?
- If we know a brother or sister in Christ is involved in sin, what should we do?
- What is the second thing we should do?
- If there is no chance of changing him, what should we do?
- What shall we do before we cast out a mote in our brother’s eye?
- What sin was the woman caught doing that the religious people brought to Jesus?
- Under the law, what was the punishment for this sin?
- What did Jesus say to the accusers?
- What do you think Jesus wrote in the sand?
- What did Jesus say to the woman?
- What kind of lives should ministers live?
- When we help people clean their lives up, how should we do it?
- In verse 6, what is meant by “dogs”?
- Should we enter the mire with them to get them saved? Why?
- In verse 7, “ask”, and what will happen?
- Seek, and ye shall what?
- Knock and what happens?
- We have not because, we ____ ____.
- To have good with us all the time, what two things should we do?
- If the son asks for bread, will the father give him what?
- If we, being evil, give good gifts to our children, what will God do to His children.
- Describe man’s love?
- Describe God’s love?
- What is the “law and prophets”, in verse 12?
- What kind of gate leads to destruction?
- Which type leads to life?
- What, in our homes, has become some people’s God?
- In verse 7 of 1 Thessalonians, what has God called us to do?
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