FRIDAY 3.17.23 Matthew 7:1-14
1 “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. 2 You’ll receive the same judgment you give. Whatever you deal out will be dealt out to you. 3 Why do you see the splinter that’s in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but don’t notice the log in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother or sister, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when there’s a log in your eye? 5 You deceive yourself! First take the log out of your eye, and then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s or sister’s eye. 6 Don’t give holy things to dogs, and don’t throw your pearls in front of pigs. They will stomp on the pearls, then turn around and attack you.
7 “Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door is opened. 9 Who among you will give your children a stone when they ask for bread? 10 Or give them a snake when they ask for fish? 11 If you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him. 12 Therefore, you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you; this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Go in through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to destruction is broad and the road wide, so many people enter through it. 14 But the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult, so few people find it.
Matthew (Luke too—cf. Luke 6:31) said Jesus taught “the Golden Rule” (“you should treat people in the same way that you want people to treat you”). Scholar William Barclay noted the breadth of Jesus' command: “The attitude which says, ‘I must do no harm to people’ is quite different from the attitude which says, ‘I must do my best to help people.’” * “Don’t judge” did not mean we should not evaluate people’s actions, especially harmful ones, but as we do, we must remember our limited knowledge.
- Jesus said the Golden Rule held the deep spiritual essence of “the Law and the Prophets.” What people or conditions make it hardest for you to truly treat others as you wish they’d treat you? The Rule also applies to how you treat yourself. “In the same way we are not to judge others harshly, we are to remove ourselves from relationships in which we are judged harshly.” ** Are there any situations in which you need to remove yourself from someone else’s harsh judgment?
- Jesus never gave in to the urge to promise an easy road. He said, “go in through the narrow gate” and “the gate that leads to life is narrow and the road difficult.” Jesus’ path, though not always the most comfortable, is always best in the long run. When have you had to choose between one way that was easy but wrong, and another that was difficult but right? What did you decide?
Lord Jesus, keep me healthily aware of my strengths while still being able to honestly “take the log out of [my] eye” before trying to correct or “improve” others. Amen.
In case you missed it...
During Lent, we have a weekly video that will help you reflect on the key themes from Words that Changed the World: The Message of Jesus. Pastor Cheryl Bell leads us through this week's video. Click here to watch it on YouTube (or click on the image below).
* William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of Matthew, vol. 1 (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 276.
** Danielle Shroyer, reflection on Matthew 7 in The CEB Women’s Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2016, p. 1221.
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Darren Lippe & his wife, Doris, first met in a Resurrection Single Adult Sunday School class in 1997 & were married in what is now the Student Center. They are empty nesters with 2 college-aged sons, Matthew & Jacob. Darren serves as a Couples Small Group co-leader & Men's Group Leader, while volunteering in a variety of other capacities at Resurrection.