HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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The Sermon on the Mount
Matthew Chapter 7
Judging Others . . . Matthew 7:1-6
Judging . . . what does it mean? Judging = guessing, estimating, supposing, evaluating, calculating. It means to distinguish, to decide (mentally or judicially); to try, punish, avenge, conclude, determine, estimate, sentence, condemn, damn, declare guilty. Is it right for us to judge others?
Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. (KJV) So many times I have heard this verse quoted, sometimes to/at me. To "judge" here does not exactly mean to pronounce damning judgment. The context makes it quite clear that what is condemned here is to look unfavorably on the character and actions of someone, which ends up expressing harsh and unjust judgments on them. I think what our Lord is aiming at is the spirit out of which these judgments spring. We must always shun this evil, ugly spirit, for we as Christians are justified to sit in judgment of a brother or sister’s character and actions (1 Cor.5). We ARE to judge those who claim they are “Christians” but leave the judging of unbelievers to God (1 Cor.5:12-13).
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. (KJV) Sort of scary! God will judge us in the same way that we judge others. He will apply to us the same standard of judgment we apply to others. Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. (KJV) We should pay attention to what Jesus says! Listen! For the same rules we use to judge others will be used by God to judge us . . . but with greater severity.
Unkind judgment of others will be returned to us, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. But, in many cases, harsh judgment on others often gets self-punished even here. People shrink back from contact with anyone who makes a habit of dealing out harsh judgment on others . . . thinking that they may be the next victim. A person who judges unkindly and/or unfairly, has few friends!
Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (KJV) The mote is a tiny splinter or piece of sawdust, meaning any small fault, that is in thy brother's eye. So many of us have a tendency to be too quick to nit-pick those around us while all the while, we never consider the beam that is in thine own eye, meaning a big log, a much bigger fault which we overlook in ourselves. Jesus compares a speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye to the great big log in your own eye. The “log” is the core of criticism and prejudice within us. With that blocking your vision, you are in no position to judge the little sin of another.
Matthew 7:4 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? (KJV) This matter of harsh judgment is certainly something about which we ALL need to be very careful. Although Jesus makes it clear that we are not to sit in harsh judgment upon other, He also said that by their fruits we would know them (vs.16). We should NOT find flaws in every tiny fault of others, and act as if we are holier that thou, by not correcting our faults that really are worse than theirs.
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. (KJV) Hypocrite! Our Lord uses a most familiar word, to express the monstrous error of this conduct. Jesus rebukes the hypocrite, and not without anger. Most often, the one judging and criticizing, suffers worse faults uncorrected in himself. Only when he seriously and severely judges himself, is he ever fit to criticize someone else. Such persons are not only slow to undertake the office of censor on their neighbors, but, when constrained in faithfulness to deal with them, will make it evident that they do it with reluctance and not satisfaction, with moderation and not exaggeration, and with love and not harshness.
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. (KJV) WHO are the dogs? These are NOT four legged animals He is talking about. We are not to give that which is holy unto dogs or cast our pearls before swine; SO . . . Jesus tells us that there IS a judgment that we must make. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs. Dogs are savage, snarling haters of Truth and righteousness. Neither cast ye your pearls before swine. Swine (pigs) here too, are NOT four legged animals! Swine are the dirty, impure or crude unbelievers who are not capable of appreciating the priceless pearls of Christianity. In the East, dogs were wild and fed on dead animals and garbage. Dogs and swine, besides being ceremonially unclean, were highly repulsive to the Jews, and to the ancients in general. Lest they trample them (the pearls of the Gospel) under their feet, as swine do, and turn again and rend (tear)you, as dogs do. Religion is brought into contempt, and its professors insulted, when it is forced upon those who do not value it and will not have it. But while we need to use caution, we must always be on our guard against too quickly putting our neighbors down as dogs and swine, and excusing ourselves from trying to do them good. There are MANY dogs and pigs in our society. What are we to do? Jesus tells us that we are NOT to judge, and then He tells us here that we ARE to judge. He tells us in the next verses what we are to do. The next verses refers to prayer.
Does Matthew 7:1-6 tell us that we have no right, no responsibility to judge anyone? No, I don’t think so. I think we as God’s people have a responsibility to judge, but we must be very careful when we judge. Other people will treat you as you treat them. Watch how you judge others, for you will be judged in like manner. Jesus makes quite a point here. Why judge a speck (small sin) in your friend's eye when you have a log (huge sin) in your own? We need to get rid of our own sin in our own lives before we even think of judging another’s sin. Jesus rightly calls anyone who judges unkindly, unfairly and wrongly like this hypocrites. When we first get rid of our own sin, then maybe we can see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye. And when we get rid of our sin, our brother’s sin may not seem near as bad as you thought it was.
Anger, selfishness, lies, theft, gossip, greed, covetousness in any form, bad thoughts of others, all immorality, idolatry, etc. are forbidden in the lives of believers. It greatly displeases God. Are any of these things present in your life? More than likely, yes. At least one of the above is probably tormenting you. If not one of the above, then something evil that is not mentioned. We are human. We ALL sin (Rom.3:10,23).
So, IF any wicked thoughts, words and/or deeds are in your life, and you do nothing to correct them, do you honestly think that you have any right to judge another’s sin? Quite often, the sins we pick out to criticize or judge in another, is the very same sin we need to correct and confess in our own life (1 John 1:8-10). YES! We are permitted to judge, but there are guidelines that we must use to stay right with God and our neighbor.
John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (KJV) This verse tells us about the same as Mat.7:1-5, above. Could you have thrown a stone at the woman that day? Not me! I couldn’t have! I am NOT without sin. We cannot judge another when we are guilty of sin ourselves. Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. [KJV] John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (KJV) No matter who you are, if you judge anyone according to the appearance, you have NO excuse. Any time that we judge another person, we actually condemn ourselves, if we are doing the same things.
Ask, Seek, Knock . . . Matthew 7:7-12
In Matthew 7:7-11 Jesus describes the way we should pray. His instructions in this text should NOT be lifted from its context and abused. Many have done this. The Bible says: “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.” So. . . all we have to do is ask and we will get it. “You do not have because you do not ask'”(James 4:2). The Name it and claim it! doctrine is a damnable heresy!(2 Pet.2:1). This sees God as a celestial slot machine. Pull the handle enough times in prayer, be persistent, and you will get what you want! Ridiculous and
WRONG! Taking this text from its setting in the Sermon on the Mount is deadly. The tremendous context of the Sermon on the Mount sets down surpassing righteousness, humility, sincerity, purity, and love expected of all those who are citizens of the Kingdom of God. These virtues are far beyond human attainment apart from God's grace. The broad context clearly reveals our desperate need. In vs.1-6, Jesus showed us the danger of condemning other people when we judge incorrectly. The standard He sets is terrifying. How can we live up to such a high standard? We need help, and grace, but from where? Jesus answers now.
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (KJV) Ask! Seek! Knock! Each of these terms states what we desire from God in a different way. We ask for what we want; we seek for something that seems missing; we knock because we feel ourselves shut out. "Ask" is asking for a conscious need. Be humble when asking, for we are asking of One far superior. "Seek," is asking, but adds action. We do not merely express our need, but we get up and look around for help. It involves effort. "Knock" includes asking plus acting plus persevering . . . steps to victory. We keep pounding on God’s door! This threefold instruction is like a triple guarantee of success to our prayer efforts.
Luke records the same words, word-for-word, in his Gospel (11:9, 10), but he precedes them with Jesus' mini-parable in 11:5-8. If you had a friend, and you go to him at midnight and ask for three loaves of bread, because a someone came and you have nothing to feed him. Your friend tells you, “Don't bother me. I was already in bed.” Your friend will not get up and give you the bread because he is your friend, but if you persist in banging on his door, he will get up and give you what you ask just to get rid of you. Jesus point is this: We are to passionately persist in prayer. Jesus' invitation is to "ask . . . seek . . . knock."
Matthew 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (KJV) Our assurance is this: God will give us ANYTHING that is good for us spiritually, IF we keep asking Him for it! If you do not yet have eternal life through Jesus Christ, you may be sure He will give it to you if you ask with all your heart. If you are a believer but are short on Christian graces, short on faith, keep praying. If you are not generous, pray passionately, and He will give you a generous spirit. If you are not kind but persistently seek God for a kind spirit, He will give it to you. Just think what would happen if we prayed for these things for ourselves and our brothers and sisters as intensely as we pray for our physical needs. The church would explode because so many of its people would be living righteous lives.
Our pulpits would be filled with preachers of power. The mission fields would shrink as thousands more poured out to the harvest. IF we want the character of the Kingdom in our lives through the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we must ask persistently. Jesus says we are to ask, keep on asking, seek, keep on seeking, knock, keep on knocking. We are to plead with God passionately for spiritual blessings. Do we pray like that?
Matthew 7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? (KJV) Would any parent give their son a stone when he asks for bread? Neither will God do that!
Matthew 7:10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? (KJV) Just as ridiculous as above! God wants only the best for His children, always!
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? (KJV) As bad as our fallen nature is, the father in us is not extinguished. God, the Father of all fathers must have an especially soft, loving, merciful heart towards His pleading children! In Luke 11:13, instead of "good gifts," our Lord asks whether He will not much more give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. The Father has already given us the Best that He had . . . His only begotten Son as a Sacrifice for our sins! WHY would He with hold any good (spiritual) thing from us if we ask of Him?
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. (KJV) The “Golden Rule.” This is the actually Scripture in a nutshell. It is an unequaled summary of HOW we should live! It is wisely called "the royal law!" (James 2:8; also see Rom.13:9; Gal.5:14; Mat.22:36-40). IF we meet somebody new, how should we treat him? We are NOT to incorrectly judge anyone. But IF he is a two-legged dog or pig, we need to know. So what do we do? Make it a matter of prayer. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” This is the principle on which you should operate. “Therefore” is a very important word in the Golden Rule. It connects the Golden Rule to the Scripture which came before it. What were the previous verses talking about? PRAYER! So, the Golden Rule joins hand in hand with prayer! They both are tied together in one package. Don’t lift out the Golden Rule and say that you live by it. Understand what the Lord is talking about. Only as we “ask, seek, and knock” are we able to live in the light of the Golden Rule, and then, ONLY because of the Lord! The treasures Christ gives are eternally ours and eternally satisfying. Perseverance is the key to receiving them. Persistent prayer assures us for those treasures. We can NEVER ask for too much spiritually. Ask and receive.
Only Two Gates to Eternity . . . Matthew 7:13-14
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. (KJV) There are only TWO gates leading to eternity. To me, it is so sad that millions CHOOSE the broad way that leads to Hell. That wide gate leads to a big broad road. Actually, BOTH these roads picture a funnel. Think about it. If you enter the funnel at the broad end, it keeps getting smaller and smaller. The longer a person stays on the broad, dark road, the harder it is to get off! It is dark because it is the devil’s road! That road keeps narrowing until you come to deeper darkness, death, destruction, and finally Hell. Now, consider the narrow road. Picture it too, as a funnel. On this narrow road, that only a few ever walk, you enter the funnel at the narrow part. That’s where Jesus is! He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He says, “… I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Now, on this narrow road, the longer you walk with Him, the wider it gets. Remember that Jesus is Light (John 1:4,9; 8:12), and as long as we walk with Him, the road is brightly lit. In Ezekiel’s prophecy (ch. 47) there was a river flowing out from the throne of God which began as a little stream and widened out until it became a great river. That pictures the life of a child of God . . . it gets better every day. And the longer we stay on that narrow road, the wider it becomes, and the easier it is to stay on. Words of wisdom: When you pray, thank God, in Jesus’ Name, for His blessings each day.
A Tree and Its Fruit False Teachers . . . Matthew 7:15-23
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (KJV) False prophets were common in Old Testament. They prophesied only what the king and the people wanted to hear (Isa.30:9-10), and claimed it was a message from God. False teachers are just as common today, and doing the same thing. We must beware of people who SOUND religious but are motivated by money, fame, or power. They minimize Christ and glorify themselves. Israel was warned against false prophets, and today the church is warned against false teachers. These children of the devil come in sheep’s clothing, and will tear your soul to bits. “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Pet. 2:1).
Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (KJV) We recognize false teachers by their fruits (words, deeds, and what they say or do not say about Christ). That is what we are to watch for in their lives. False doctrine, damnable heresies, commandments of men (Mat.15:9) keep people from entering the strait gate, and becoming true followers of Christ. The soothing, flattering doctrines of those well liked preachers who preach just what people want to hear, are widespread today. The doctrines they bring today will put your soul in Hell! The so-called "bibles" they use are paraphrased versions of man’s corrupt mind. Some even ridicule our precious Saviour. BEWARE!!! Check out everything you hear or read with God’s Word, me included. . . . http://www.hisservants.org/bible_1_bible_corruptions_h_s.htm
Matthew 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (KJV) Speaking of modern, corrupt bibles, The Message, a well know, well liked so-called bible of today, omits completely Matthew 7:17-20, all 4 verses! Matthew 5:35-37 are also omitted. Why??? . . . http://www.hisservants.org/bible_1_message_bible_is_corrupted_h_s.htm
Jesus compares true and false teachers with trees. A healthy tree (God fearing good teacher) bears good fruit (brings the Gospel of Christ), but a poor tree (corrupt, money loving, false teacher) bears bad fruit (brings another gospel 2 Cor.11:4). These gospels that they bring are damnable heresies! They are commandments of men condemned by Jesus our Lord. “Name it, claim it” is one horribly wrong one, and “Universalism” is another that will put your soul in Hell. Yet both these are taught by today’s churches! When Jesus talks about bad trees, He means teachers who deliberately teach false doctrine. My friend, there are many false teachers bring false gospels, and it is all readily accepted by even some so-called “Evangelicals.” Be very careful! . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_word_faith_movement.1.htm . . . http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_false_doctrines_universalism.1.htm
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (KJV) A good tree (Godly teacher) CANNOT bring any evil fruit (false doctrines). And a corrupt tree (false teacher) WILL NOT produce good fruit (the Gospel that saves).
Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (KJV) Also see Mat.3:10. A fruit tree is expected to bear fruit, so too, God’s children should produce a crop of good deeds (anything done for the cause of Christ, 1 Cor.3:11-15). God has NO use for people who say: “I’m a Christian” but do nothing about it. Many people profess to be God’s people, but in reality, they are
hypocrites like the ones Jesus condemned in Mat.23. We are worthless if we are Christians in name only. If others can’t see our faith and love for God in the way we treat them, we may not be God’s people at all.
Whether people realize it or not, the Truth is that we will be judged for our unproductive lives (no-good trees). We must be active in our obedience. IF you claim you believe God but don’t live for God, you are as a bad tree that will be cut down and thrown into the fire. HOW to be productive for God? Obey His teachings, resist temptation, actively serve and help others, and tell others of Jesus. How productive are you for God?
Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (KJV) Any time a verse starts with wherefore or therefore, always consider what was said before. Jesus says that we shall know the false teachers (and false Christians) by what they do. The hypocrisy of false teachers and preachers today give us a serious warning against religious hypocrisy in general.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (KJV) You can SAY that you are a Christian and are living by the Golden Rule, BUT the point is: Are you doing the will of the Father in heaven? If you are doing His will, you will come to Christ, admitting that you need a Saviour. Jesus is more concerned about our WALK than our TALK. He wants us to DO right, not just SAY right words. Jesus exposed people who sounded religious but had no personal relationship with Him (hypocrites). He makes it quite clear that there are many people that claim to be God’s children but are NOT! Only those people who DO the will of God the Father, shall ever enter Heaven (God’s Home). Now Jesus speaks of WHEN will He sit as final judge.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (KJV) What day? On “that day”(Judgment Day), only our relationship with Christ, and our acceptance of Him as Saviour, and our obedience to Him will matter. Many people think that if they are “good” people and say religious things, they will be rewarded with eternal life. Some false doctrines of today teach that ALL people go to Heaven (Universalism). The Bible does NOT teach Universalism! Quite the opposite is Truth. Only a FEW ever make it to Heaven (Mat.7:13-14). In reality, faith in Christ is what will count on Judgment Day. “That day” is the final day of reckoning when God will settle all accounts, judging sin and rewarding faith. NO matter what a person says he/she has done in the Name of Jesus; the Great and Wise Judge can see their hearts. ALL people shall be judged righteously! No one will be able to register a complaint. Those false teachers who have claimed to have cast out devils, or done miracles in Jesus’ Name, will finally be brought before the Judge and He shall punish them severely. NO rewards for them.
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (KJV) Judge Jesus will openly proclaim, tear off the masks of those hypocrites. This does not refer to the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor.3:11-15). ALL true believers, dead or alive, will have been removed from the Earth (1 Thes.4:13-18). This speaks of hypocrites, professors, NOT possessors of Christ. This most likely refers to the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev.20:11-15), where all unbelievers will stand.
I never knew you . . . What they claimed was intimacy with Christ, is exactly what He renounces. They claimed intimacy with Christ, and in the similar passage, Luke 13:26, and are represented as having gone out and in with Him on familiar terms. He has taken all that He can stand. No fellowship was broken off . . . there never was any, Jesus will say scornfully. Depart from me . . . Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: (KJV) Ye that work iniquity . . . their sins are represented as fresh from the scenes and acts of it as they stand before the Judge. See an even more vivid and awful, description of the scene in Luke 13:24-27. The apostle Paul hints at these very words in 2 Tim. 2:19 "Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." . . . When we follow God’s Truth, He will never forsake us. Trust Him!
Wise and Foolish Builders . . . Matthew 7:24-29
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (KJV) Therefore . . . what came before this? Jesus’ lesson about trees and their fruits. Keep that in mind, for it joins with this lesson. IF we are a good tree and do the will of God, we will WANT to build a right kind of house! Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them . . . James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (KJV) Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (KJV)
Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (KJV) Always remember, the Bible is its own best commentary. IF we DO, not just hear, Jesus’ sayings . . . He will liken us unto a wise man. A wise person always does the will of God. A wise person will build his house upon a Rock! The Rock in the Bible is Jesus. To build “on the rock” means to be a hearing, responding disciple, not a phony, superficial one, not a hypocrite! Obedience to God becomes our solid foundation to weather the storms of life (James 1:22-27). If you have come to Christ, He is your Foundation . . . “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11). When you are resting on Christ, you can build on that Foundation. Your house represents your life, and will withstand the storms of life only if you do what is right instead of just talking about it. What you do cannot be separated from what you believe.
Matthew 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (KJV) Rain, floods and winds are trials and tribulations that come our way each day in life. And the rain descended . . .from above. And the floods came . . . from below. And the winds blew . . . swept across it. And beat upon that house . . . from every direction. And it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock. 1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (KJV) When we get attached to our possessions, it’s hard to believe that what we have will one day pass away. It is hard for some people to believe that the person who does the will of God will live forever. But this was what John believed based on the facts of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and Promises. Knowing that this evil world and our desires for its pleasures will end one day, can give us courage to control our greedy, wicked ways and to continue doing God’s will. Are we going to have troubles in life? According to this verse, the answer is most definitely yes! And those troubles come from all directions. You need a firm Foundation to your life (house).
Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: (KJV) What is the sand that foolish people build upon? It is human goodness, self righteousness and human effort. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine . . . and does NOT do them . . . shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand . . . meaning a shifting foundation. These people build on an empty profession . . . professing to be “Christians” but NOT possessing Christ in their heart. And their “fruits” are mere external services (corrupt fruit from bad trees), NOT willing service from the heart (good fruit from good trees).
Matthew 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (KJV) Here come the rains and floods and wind again! The house (life) built on Christ the Rock stood firm, it fell not (vs.25). But this house (life) built on shifting sand CANNOT stand up against the troubles of life. When the rain, floods and winds, beat against this house, it fell! And great was the fall of it! Like a house of cards, the fool’s life crumbles. Most people do not purposely seek to build on a false or inferior foundation . . . they just never think about their life’s purpose. They never think about what lies ahead. Some never think of eternity. Big mistake. These people are headed for destruction, not out of stubbornness but out of neglect. Part of our responsibility as believers, God’s TRUE children, is to help others stop and think about where their lives are headed and to point out the horrific outcome of ignoring Christ’s sayings.
Effect the Sermon on the Mount had on the people
Matthew 7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: (KJV) The phrase “and it came to pass” is in the Bible 396 times. This is #337, the first time in the New Testament. I love this verse. When I read some verses with this phrase, I know that God does not lie. And it came to pass . . . exactly as God said it would. Other verses with the phrase. . . And it came to pass in Matthew (Mat.11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1).
Other verses with people being astonished at His doctrine . . .
(Mat.13:54; 22:33; Mark 1:22; 6:2; Mk.11:18; Luke 4:32; John 7:46). I think of all the people who sat listening to this magnificent Teacher. NO one ever came close to His wisdom, or His marvelous way of teaching, or ever will! Martha’s sister Mary, sat at Jesus' feet, and listened to Jesus teach (Luke 10:39). Mary chose the good part . . . which shall not be taken away from her (Luke 10:42). One day, I too want to sit at Jesus’ Feet and hear Him teach. People were overwhelmed by Jesus’ Words.
Matthew 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (KJV) For he taught them as one having authority . . . Jesus taught as one who had real authority . . . and He DID have authority. His teaching was so unlike the teachers of religious law in that day, and too no one can match Him today! His Presence of divine authority, Lawgiver, Expounder (Commentator) and Judge, simply beamed through His teaching, that the scribes’ teaching could not but appear as nonsense in such a light. Our Lord Jesus was that kind of teacher . . . He taught with authority; He did not just repeat some thing that He had read. We today, need to recognize the fact that we have nothing worthwhile to say unless it is with the authority of the Word of God and unless we BELIEVE that it is the Word of GOD!
Preachers who get up there and start talking about their family history, or football or fishing . . . make me sick! They are up there in that pulpit for the specific reason to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the congregation. No one can be saved unless they hear the Gospel of Christ (Rom.10:14-15). A preacher’s bragging on his family can win NO one to Christ! That type of person has no business in the pulpit. Am I judging incorrectly? Absolutely not. If a person claims to be a preacher or teacher of God’s Word, they must DO the sayings of Jesus or they are not qualified to be in the pulpit. The words and deeds of some people is very easy to discern. By their fruits we shall know them! (Mat.7:20). We are not to wrongly judge or condemn, but we certainly can be fruit inspectors.
Today we have the Gospel to give, the message of salvation. The Sermon on the Mount is a very impressive Passage of Scripture. Don’t pass over it. If you read it correctly, it will bring you to the Person of Jesus Christ. It will show you how you fail to measure up to its precepts. It will show you that you are weak and guilty. It will make you cry for mercy and will bring you to the Person of Christ for salvation. When you accept Christ as Saviour, He will give you the Holy Spirit who will enable you to live on this high plain. It is our responsibility as God’s TRUE children, to help others stop and think about where their lives are headed and to point out the dreadful result of rejecting Jesus and His sayings. May God direct your path always!
Gospel of Matthew
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The Sermon on the Mount
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