A Study of Matthew | Chapter 7
Verses 1-5 The reason judges are trusted to judge is because they are presented will all the evidence from both sides of a case. When we encounter people we will not be able to gain all the evidence to rightfully judge them. Krino, the word for “judge” can also mean to rule, govern, or contend with one another. Jesus did not want us doing either of these with each other from a righteousness standpoint. We also shouldn’t judge others because we can gain a false sense of pride in doing so. This is why Jesus said to get rid of the log in our own eye before we try to help someone else with speck in their eye. It doesn’t say not to help your friend, but to make sure you can see clearly before doing so. Our issues can often make us justify others actions for them. This is something we do not want to do. We also do not need to condemn others as well because then we are condemning ourselves in doing so.
Verses 6 Don’t give what is holy to those who care nothing about it. Later Jesus says, "You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not.” Matthew 13:11 Often those who have not received salvation will try to take Biblical teachings and twist them to make Jesus look crazy, God look evil, and all of God’s people stupid. We can waste so much time arguing with those who care absolutely nothing about Christ for the sake of winning an argument.
Verses 7-11 Throughout all of the NT and OT God’s people were told to ask. It is important that we ask of the Father, so we keep in mind who our source is. It isn’t that God never provides for non-followers, but His people know where to give credit and honor for their provisions. Jesus says if we keep knocking then the door will be opened. It is our job to walk through when it does. Sometimes multiple doors can become open, but we are to ask God if that happens, which door to walk into. I think that even if we walk into the wrong door that God can guide us back where we belong in his will. That is the power of Grace. Jesus then show the goodness of the Father. If we ask for necessities we should know that He will provide what is good for us. If we know how to give good ‘gifts’ to our kids, doesn’t God know how to do that even better.
Verses 12 In most other religions it is said to not do unto others what you would not want done to you. Do not steal from someone because you would not want someone to steal from you. Jesus commands us out of love not fear. Do unto other as you would have them do unto you. Be doers of the word. But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. James 1:22 We do not look at what our loved ones did not do as a sign of love, but what they did do.
Verses 13-14 It appears that God’s Kingdom and life are used interchangeably. The word for life is zoe. This means life here and now as well as eternal in fullness of what God has for us. When we see a reference to eternal or everlasting that means without beginning or ending. When we accept Christ we are entering into a state of eternity spiritually that has no ending. This is why death can not win over us. The narrow gate mentioned here is Jesus. This is confirmed by Jesus in John 10:7-9, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me[a] were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.[b] They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.
The reason the road is difficult is because the ways of God are not the ways of man. We are born into a state of sin, so we have to go to Jesus who is the gate for our eternal salvation and so that the Holy Spirit can come into our lives so that we can continue to live on earth as heavenly ambassadors. Jesus is a gate for us and the Holy Spirit.
Verses 15-20 False prophets are those who teach false doctrine to fulfill an agenda for selfish reasons. This is done on purpose and directly abuses a position of authority. I think the title of false prophet depends on the intention of the person in question. False prophets existed then and will continue to exist. I don’t think that this refers to a person who may misunderstand biblical doctrine and hasn’t had a revelation of whatever truth God wanted to gain from his Word. We need to be careful who we called false prophets because it is a serious accusation.
Trees naturally produce what is in them. Apple trees produce apples and orange trees produce oranges. The good fruit is not just the outer skin of what looks good and healthy. We have to examine the wholeness of the fruit to see if it actually good. Overtime if the inside of a fruit has problems it will be seen on the outside.
Verses 21-23 Jesus did not want us to just say we belong to Him, but live our lives in that way. There was an incident in the book of Acts where people were using the Lord’s name, but wasn’t actually under His authority and we see what happened. 13 A group of Jews was traveling from town to town casting out evil spirits. They tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus in their incantation, saying, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, to come out!” 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a leading priest, were doing this. 15 But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?” 16 Then the man with the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them, and attacked them with such violence that they fled from the house, naked and battered.
The word Lord means owner. Do you really belong to Christ or just feel like someone who uses his name to get what you want. Servants are always first concerned with the will of their Master before themselves. That is what making Jesus Lord is about. As sons who serve the Father, we will be doing his will.
Verses 24-27 Jesus addresses living in wisdom in these few verses. Jesus is the rock of our lives. Our foundational truths need to be rooted in him. When we lean on our own feelings and desires to make life altering decisions, we will often end up in very rocky situations. Our personal emotions change all the time, so they are not built on a sturdy enough foundation to live off of. Jesus gave us truth because everything flows perfectly that flows in truth. When a lie is inserted, destruction starts to happen.
Verse 28 Jesus taught with real authority. This authority is different from that of the teachers of religious law. When you say something you know is true, you come across with confidence. With 400 years gone by since the last prophet Malachi, the teachers were probably just relying on what they had been taught over the years instead of personal connection with God. This is like growing up hearing the faith of your parents and experiencing faith yourself. When you are sharing the Gospel with someone it is much more effective if hear the confidence in your speech about it.