READ: Matthew 7

BACKGROUND: This is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount which began in chapter 5, and Jesus deals with some important topics for living as his disciples in this passage.

By Verse:
1 – One of the most misquoted verses in all of Scripture in modern America. The idea is not that we shouldn’t ever judge anyone else and that we should just live and let live and allow truth to be relative and say its okay for anybody to do whatever they want. That’s hardly the message of the Bible. The idea is that we shouldn’t be self-righteous and act like the faults of others are any worse than our own.
6 – Teaching should be given in accordance with the spiritual capacity of the learners.
8 – Ask, Seek, & Knock are all imperatives (commands). Do it! Be persistent!
13-14 – Notice that there is no middle road. 🙂
15-16 – False prophets = people who claim to be sent by God and representing him but actually aren’t. We can discern who false prophets are by examining the fruit that their lives and ministries produce.
22 – The phrase “that day”, as almost always in the Bible, is referring to the Day of Judgment.
29 – Jesus taught differently than other Rabbis. Most Rabbis quoted other Rabbis or Rabbinical writings as their sources of authority when they taught. Jesus didn’t. He taught with Divine authority.

THINK: (From Joe Stowell in Our Daily Bread, September 7, 2010)

One of my boyhood hobbies was building model planes. Every time I opened a new box, the first thing I saw was the instructions, but I didn’t think I needed to follow them. In my mind I knew exactly how to put the model together. Not until I had glued a few pieces together did I realize I had skipped an important step, like putting the pilot in the cockpit.

It’s easy to think that we have no need for instructions for our lives, only to later realize that we’ve messed things up. Which is exactly why Jesus advised that following His instructions is the way for wise people to build a safe, solid, and significant life (Matt. 7:24-29). He had just told the listening crowd to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to forgive enemies, and to sell treasures so that they could give to the poor (5:39-44). But just getting the instructions isn’t enough. The key is to follow them. “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (7:24).

Those who don’t follow the instructions are, as Jesus put it, “foolish” (v.26). To the world, forgiving your enemies and giving to the poor may seem like a silly way to build a life, but, take it from Jesus, it’s the wise way. To build a rock-solid life, follow Jesus’ instructions.

ASK: Are there instructions from Jesus that I know in my head but I’m not really putting into practice in my life right now? What steps do I need to take to make sure my life is being built upon a solid foundation?

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