the disciples about people questions
Sermon on the Mount: judging others; sense; prayer; treat others; narrow
gate; wise and foolish
Tod Kennedy, December, 2005 – March, 2006
Very Broad topic
outline of Matthew 5-7
Matthew 5 instructs the disciples about moral questions and answers.
Matthew 6 instructs the disciples about attitude and motivation
questions and answers.
Matthew 7 instructs the disciples about people questions and answers.
A quick glance at
Do not judge, 7:1
Do not give what is holy, 7:6
Treat people, 7:12
Enter by, 7:13
Beware of, 7:15
Therefore everyone who hears, 7:24
The result, 7:28
Verse 1, Principle
Do not judge, lest you be
judged, 7:1. This refers to personal condemnation of other people—we have
our own sins and failures. It is a warning against self-righteousness.
Do not judge is present
active imperative, 2 plural of krino (krino) + the negative = Do
To openly pass judgment or
condemnation on someone else because of sin, find fault, criticize.
The disciples will be
tempted to judge others and when they do, they will be self-righteous just
like the Pharisees.
verse 2, Results
The judgment or verdict that
you give refers to your decision about the other person, your verdict.
That same verdict will be
pronounced on you by God.
The standard “measure” that
you use on another will be the standard that God applies to you (James
3:1-2). Similar to Matthew 6:14-15.
verses 3-5, Reason
No one is perfect. No one is
without sin. And, generally the person who tends to fault finding and
criticism and judging has more and larger failures than the one he is
judging (speck—karphos (karphos),
a speck, chip, chaff, small piece of straw; and the log—dokos (dokos),
a bearing beam in a roof or house, a beam of a door).
Self-righteousness is the
root of the problem (hypocrite). See Luke 6:39-42 for the same.
Deal with your own weakness
before you try to correct another person.
Effects of Judging
God will discipline me.
I will be unhappy.
People will shun me.
Other people will be hurt.
Judging within a church
group causes anger, fighting back, gossip, and church splits.
Judging parades sins before
unbelievers and damages the gospel opportunities.
Judging another means to
openly tell someone they or someone else is guilty of sin when you do not
have that right or authority. That is God’s job. Do not take God’s place and
condemn or pass judgment on someone else because of sin. All of us sin and
fail. God is the only one who is qualified to condemn others. He is perfect.
We do not know all the facts. He knows all things. God is better qualified
Furthermore, do not be
critical of other people’s failures and sins. Critical people are unhappy
people. Critical people are usually self-righteous people. Critical people
are usually controlled by their sinful natures, not the Holy Spirit. And,
they are proud people (Matthew 7:1-2; Romans 14:1-13; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5).
Is there ever a time to make
a critical decision about anyone, or to make a judgment about someone? Verse
5, says there may be a time to make a judgment about another, but only after
you are free from sin and failures, and this requires fellowship and living
by the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 6:1 is the New
Testament passage for instruction about humbly helping another believer
This does not mean that we
should accept all ideas and all people uncritically or without thought.
Matthew 7:6 requires careful
Matthew 7:15-20 requires
careful thinking and decisions.
Philippians 3:2 requires
knowledge and the correct evaluation and decisions.
1 John 4:1 requires biblical
knowledge and good decision making.
Business owners and
managers, parents, coaches, pastors, and others in authority have the right
and responsibility to evaluate and judge within their sphere of authority
(Matthew 18:23-35 illustrates this).
Even Timothy, with more
authority than pastors, was instructed to have witnesses before he could
render decisions when evaluating elders of the young churches, (1 Timothy
Apostles had the necessary
authority to evaluate and make judgments while the church was beginning
(Galatians 1:8-9; 1 Corinthians 5:5).
When in doubt, don’t judge.
Always pray for the person
you think needs spiritual correction. God will do the correcting in his way
and use you if he wants to use you.
A quick glance at
Do not judge, 7:1
Do not give what is holy,
Treat people, 7:12
Enter by, 7:13
Beware of, 7:15
Therefore everyone who
The result, 7:28
Matthew 7:6, Do not throw
This verse has the X
Holy to dogs
Pearls to swine
Tear you to pieces
Matthew 7:6, Do
not give what is holy…
Dogs in biblical times were
often marauders and scavengers. Dogs were also used to guard sheep. Isaiah
indicates they were unclean animals (Isaiah 66:3). Dogs have no reverence
for sacred meat. They simply devour that which God considers holy.
Dogs picture people who have
no reverence for God and God’s message. They reject the disciple’s message
of the Messiah and his kingdom. When these people show their identity, do
not continue to give what is holy to them—God’s holy word.
In English and in Greek the
words for judging can mean condemnation (openly passing judgment on someone
else) or discrimination (the ability to see distinctions between good and
bad). In verses 1-5 Jesus warns against openly condemning others. But though
we must not judge others, we need to wisely decide the difference between
good and bad, or to discriminate between good and bad. Discrimination is a
good word, though greatly misused today.
So, in verse 6 Jesus teaches
about the need to evaluate people and their response to God’s word and to
make decisions based on that evaluation.
Jesus uses to illustrations.
Both were understandable by the disciples. Dogs and pigs were well known to
people at that time.
The disciples were not to
openly condemn others, but were to evaluate and discriminate to whom they
spoke God’s word.
Holy offerings and pearls
were sacred or very valuable to people in Jesus’ and the disciples’
Holy is the word ‘agion (‘agion).
It refers to something set apart for God’s, use such sacrificial animals
used for the temple ministry. Leviticus 22 says unclean people are not to
contact sacrificial offerings of meat.
Matthew 7:6, Do
not throw your pearls…
Wild pigs roamed the Jordan
Valley. Pearls were small size gems. Pearls were and are of great value, but
the pigs did not appreciate pearls. They looked like acorns which pigs ate.
Pigs would not recognize or value pearls, but instead trample them as they
rooted for food because they were inedible. (Margarites [Margarites]
is the word meaning pearl. We have the name Margaret.)
The pearl, then, stands for
something of great value and here represents God’s word given by the
disciples. Jesus tells them to carefully preach the message to people who
may be interested in hearing it. The disciples are not to take time with
those rejecters and hecklers.
Even Jesus discriminated and
did not answer Herod Antipas in Luke 23:9.
Matthew 7:6, Do
not throw your pearls…Application
The disciples were to
continue to preach the kingdom message.
While they were not to
openly judge others, they were to wisely think of their audience and
discriminate between those who were ready for the message and those who
would have nothing to do with it.
They were to leave those who
rejected and ridiculed the message. They were not to waste time on them.
We today can take the same
application. Do not waste time on those who want to argue and who are not
interested in the gospel. Once they have been given an opportunity and have
clearly made their decision against the Lord, you are to leave them behind
and go to other people.
How do we view God?
The verbs, “ask,” “knock,”
and “seek” are all in the second person plural present active imperative.
The present imperative gives
general or repeatable instructions.
Jesus tells the disciples to
be persistent in prayer. They are to ask again and again.
Taken together Jesus
instructs his disciples politely, persistently, and diligently.
Ask indicates the simple
request. You ask according to need and desire. A polite request of God.
Given and receives indicates
the answer to the request.
Seek means to look for
something. It seems to emphasize the need for guidance and opportunity.
Find indicates that guidance
prayer has been answered.
Knock indicates the
diligence to take advantage of an opportunity that you have sought.
Opened indicates the
opportunity has presented to the one knocking or praying for an opportunity
Acts 4:29-31 illustrates the
meaning of ask, seek, knock.
What father will give his
son a stone when he asked for a loaf of bread? No reasonable father.
What father will give his
son a snake when he asked for a fish? No reasonable father.
Conclusion about God or Father
Our understanding of God
determines our thinking about prayer.
Not a reluctant stranger to
Not a malicious tyrant who
enjoys watching us struggle and be disappointed.
Not an indulgent
Yes, does everything right
If human fathers, who have
sinful natures—the point here is not depravity—answer requests of their
God our Father, who is
perfect, will do no less. We can depend upon it.
Note “give what is good.”
God only wants to give good from his perspective. He has the final say on
what to give and what to with hold. What he gives is good for us.
He delights to give good
gifts (James 1:17)
Matthew 7:7-11. So
How do we view God our
Pray persistently. Since God
our Father instructs that his disciples persistently make requests to him
for what we desire, we should do so.
Pray persistently for human
needs and desires, for divine guidance, and for the recognition and use of
opportunities for service.
Does the disciples’ prayer
agree with this section on prayer? Yes.
Trust God to give good to
us, not bad.
Do not judge others.
Think carefully about
Pray to our heavenly Father.
The negative statement is
common, and is much less demanding. It amounts to “do nothing.”
Jesus positive command is
much different than other statements made through out history.
Jesus gave a general
principle rather than a list of rules that attempted to cover every
situation. Note Leviticus 19:18 in which the summary is given in the
What are some practical
every day ways to treat people?
Take others into account
Other Scripture. Matthew
22:37-39; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 4:32.
Doctrine of Love your
Treat people, how?
If we view God rightly, we
shall treat people rightly. Exodus 23:4; Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy
15:7–8; Proverbs 24:17; 25:21; Luke 6:31.
Matthew 22:39, the second
paragraph of the summary of the Mosaic Law, “love your neighbor as
Fruit of the Holy Spirit in
Doctrine of Fruit of the
Two great commandments in
Doctrine of Love your
neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 7: 13-14.
The Narrow Gate and the Wide Gate
The important thing to
decide in these verses are the meaning of narrow gate, wide gate,
destruction, and life.
First, to whom is he
speaking? Look at the entire context for this. (Primarily to his disciples?)
You enter is the aorist
imperative, second plural.
Gate refers to the place of
entrance, and here in this illustration it refers to choice of kind of life
one wants to live. I do not think the context or words refer to faith or
eternal life or unbelief for God’s judgment.
The disciples and the
listeners have a choice. Do they want to choose life or death? Volition or
free will again is prominent. Look back at Deuteronomy 30:15-20 for a
similar statement. Volition and physical life are emphasized, not eternal
life or heaven.
Jesus is appealing to the
disciples and others to follow the right kind of life at that time. It is
not primarily a gospel of forgiveness call.
Destruction and Life
Destruction and life are
determinative. What is the context? Is Jesus talking about forgiveness of
sins and eternal life? It seems not. He is talking about how the people
live. Again, I refer you to Deuteronomy and the entire OT theology.
Destruction is apoleia (apoleia).
It is used 17 times in the NT. It has the meanings of destruction, waste,
ruin and most often refers to ruin and physical death. See Matthew 26:8;
Mark 14:4; John 17:12; Acts 8:12; Philippians 1:28; 1 Timothy 6:9 and
To what does life refer? The
word is zoe (zoe)
in the dictionary form. Here it is the accusative after the preposition eis
Life is used many times in the NT and most have the adjective “eternal”
associated. Others refer to life in the now for those listening.
Such passages as Luke 16:25,
John 10:10, Acts 17:25, 1 Corinthians 3:22 and 15:19, 2 Corinthians 2:16,
Galatians 2:20 (verb), Philippians 1:21-22 (verb), Hebrews 7:3, James 4:4
emphasize life here and now.
The evidence is not as clear
by word usage, but the context seems to determine that the primary meaning
in the passage is life in the here and now—though it may go into eternal
life. Stan Toussaint, in Behold the King, “Even in this passage there
is an emphasis on discipleship” (page 116).
Jesus is primarily talking
about discipleship—about following him. Jesus is telling them that they make
choices on what kind of life they will live, and the right choices are
difficult and unpopular.
Fewer people choose to
follow him. But those who do will have the best purpose, satisfaction, and
lasting kind of life. Those who follow the popular way—such as the
Pharisees—will end up in a destructive life and physical death.
Matthew 7:13-14, So What?
What kind of choices have I
made and do I now make? Do I choose to follow Jesus Christ and God’s word,
or do I choose to follow other gods and the world’s viewpoint.
These are choices made in
faith, because the right choices do not always seem right at the time.
So, for us, the choice is to
live the Christian life or the world kind of life.
The daily plan of God, the
believers walk, and other doctrines come into mind for application.
Doctrine of Disciple
The words translated make
disciple or disciple.
J. Dwight Pentecost (14)
Disciples of different
Genuine, false, secret, and
Good characteristics of a
The method for making
disciples in Matthew 28:19-20.
A city on a hill cannot be
hidden (Matthew 5:14).
Only in his hometown and in
his own house is a prophet without honor (Matthew 13:57).
If a blind man leads a blind
man, both will fall into a pit (Matthew 15:14).
A student is not above his
teacher (Luke 6:40)
The worker deserves his
wages (Luke 10:7).
Wherever there is a carcass,
there the vultures will gather (Matthew 24:38).
You are the salt of the
earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again
Do you bring in a lamp to
put it under a bowl or a bed (Matthew 4:21)?
Do people pick grapes from
thorn bushes, or figs from thistles (Matthew 7:16)?
Physician, heal yourself!
(15) Warning about False Prophets
Verse 15, the warning about
false prophets. They act appealing and sound appealing, but the message
destroys the lives of people.
Sheep’s clothing. Outer
Jesus says to beware of the
teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:11-12).
Paul also warns against
destructive Counterfeits in Acts 20:29-30.
John does the same in 1 John
Identifying False Prophets
Verse 16, false prophets
show they are false because their predictions do not come true.
Verse 17, good trees
good fruit; bad treesà
Verse 18, the reverse is not
true. A good tree does not à
bad fruit and a bad tree does not
Verse 19, an illustration:
the farmer removes the bad trees.
Watch the prophet. You can
tell if he is true or false by his prophecies (1. biblical) and the outcome
(2. come true).
Verse 21, works and false
claims will not make one a citizen of the kingdom of heaven.
Verse 22, prophecies,
exorcisms, and miracles are not the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Versed 23, righteousness is
the key and that righteousness comes only from God through his son.
Deuteronomy 13:1-6 says that
the prophet’s message must agree with other biblical revelation.
Deuteronomy 18:20-22 adds
that the prophet’s message must come true or he is a false prophet.
Acts 17:10-11 relates that
men from Berea searched the Scriptures and compared biblical revelation with
Paul’s message and found Paul spoke the truth.
God’s word is the standard
by which we test what people teach.
Therefore listen carefully
with our Bibles open, in fellowship with God, the Holy Spirit leading us,
trusting God to teach us.
Listen to our pastors and
teachers expecting to receive spiritual food. Give them the benefit of the
doubt. God has placed them in the church to equip us, not so we can set
ourselves above them (Ephesians 4:11-12; Hebrews 13:7-9).
If something does not appear
clear or correct, ask questions or set it aside until further study and
We should be teachable.
seeming miracles do not indicate that God is speaking through a man.
False Prophets. Counterfeits to the Faith
Doctrine of demons (1 Timothy
The devil's communion table
(1 Corinthians 10:20-21)
Disguised apostles (2
Different Jesus, Holy
Spirit, and gospel (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)
Spirituality and growth by
human effort (Galatians 3:2-3)
Satan’s power, signs, and
false wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:8-10)
False gods (2 Thessalonians
(Matthew 5:20; 23).
The wise response
All who hear and act on what
Jesus said may be compared to a wise man, one who builds his house on a
Hear—listen with attention
Act—apply or do what he said
Rain, floods, winds could
not damage the house because it was firmly build on the right foundation.
The foundation held.
The disciples foundation was
Our foundation is God’s
The foolish response
All who hear and do not act
on what Jesus said may be compared to a foolish man, one who builds his
house on sand.
Hear—listen but little
attention and faith.
Not act—does not apply or do
what he said to do.
Rain, floods, winds damage
the house because it was built not on the right foundation, but on sand.
Sand moves and shifts with rain, floods, and wind. The foolish had the wrong
foundation—human ideas, religions traditions.
the amazing response to Jesus’ teaching. His so what?
The people (more than the
immediate disciples) were amazed at his teachings. His final lesson drew
many people into his ministry.
Why? For (gar,
is a word that introduces and
explains. As one having authority. What does that mean? The people sensed
that what he said was truth. They recognized him as speaking from God. The
Pharisees spoke from tradition; what they said was obviously from God.
He has shown that he is the
one who proclaims, interprets, and teaches God’s word.
The theme of authority now
comes into focus. From here on Jesus will be demonstrating is Messianic
authority and observers will be challenging his authority.
His authority comes from who
he is and what he says.
Jesus' authority in Matthew:
7:29; 8:9; 9:6, 8; 10:1; 20:25; 21:23, 24; 28:18.
Paul also talks about
authority and the Bible teacher: 1 Thessalonians 4:2; 1 Timothy 2:12; 1
Corinthians 11:10; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Titus 2:15; and others.
What’s the point?
Jesus knew the Bible. He
explained it clearly. The people who wanted to know God’s word got what he
Application for today: Authority in Bible teaching
Familiarity with God’s word
The ability to explain God’s
Obvious accuracy with God’s
word. Jesus did all of these.
Bible teachers today often
gain authority from personality instead of 1-3. Dogmatic people teach with
dogmatism. Unconfident people teach with a lack of confidence.
Clear and accurate teaching
will remain long after the teacher leaves. Personality teaching or wrong
teaching eventually fades.
Bible teaching should
Hold people’s attention
Be applied or used