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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Matthew 7

 

 


Verses 1-6

Judging One Another ( Luke 6:37-42) - In Matthew 7:1-6 Jesus teaches us about judging our neighbour. We are to avoid being critical of our neighbour ( Matthew 7:1-4). Instead, we are to live a lifestyle of godliness so that we can speak words of wisdom and advice into the lives of others ( Matthew 7:5). If they reject what we have to offer, we are not to push Christian teachings into their face, lest they become offended at God's Word and further bring judgment upon themselves ( Matthew 7:6). Rather, we are to discern their hearts and help those who will accept our ministry ( Matthew 7:6). This is why Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and told them that he that is spiritual is to judge (or discern) all things while not being found guilty of sin and judged by others ( 1 Corinthians 2:15). That Isaiah , we are supposed to live a godly lifestyle without sin by being mature enough to be able to discern between good and evil in our lives as well as those around us.

1 Corinthians 2:15, "But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man."

Solomon made a similar statement in Proverbs 9:8, "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise Prayer of Manasseh , and he will love thee." We are to correct those who are in error. If they are rebellious, the burden to correct them is not upon us. However, we are to have enough discernment to recognize when someone is receptive to correction, and offer such in a spirit of love. Solomon as well said, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." ( Proverbs 27:6) If we speak the truth in love when correcting others, we may initially wound someone's heart, but such wounds in the lives of the humble will quickly heal.

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.

Matthew 7:6Comments- When we remove the beam out of our eyes, so that we can help others remove their specks, we must be careful not to push ourselves upon others. Rather than criticize them, we should help them overcome strongholds and sins. If they do not want help, then we must not cast our words upon them. Otherwise, they will become offended in us and in the Word of God and reject what we have to say. We can use wisdom as we counsel others.

God would not ask us to do something that He Himself does not do. God is easily able to impart a great amount of wisdom into any of us in a moment, both to saints and to sinners, but He does not choose to work this way. He allows the sinner to walk in his darkness out of mercy for him. For in doing Song of Solomon , the sinner will face a less harsh judgment in eternity than someone who knows the truth and rejects it.

God chooses to speak in dark sayings so that the saints of God will have to search for wisdom before finding it. In so doing, the wisdom that is someone pays a price to obtain becomes precious to the one who finds. Note:

Proverbs 12:27, "The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious."

In the natural, the most precious metals and gems are found in the depths of the earth. In the same way is divine wisdom found. Since God will also judge the saints for what truths they know, God, in His infinite Wisdom of Solomon , only entrusts His precious truths to those to whom He has counted faithful. God does not cast His pearls before swine ( Matthew 7:6). If someone rejects us, we withhold godly counsel ( Proverbs 9:8; Proverbs 23:9, 2 Peter 2:22).

Proverbs 9:8, "Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise Prayer of Manasseh , and he will love thee."

Proverbs 23:9, "Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words."

2 Peter 2:22, "But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

Proverbs 26:11, "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly."


Verses 7-12

Trusting God in Prayer ( Luke 11:5-13) - In Matthew 7:7-12 Jesus teaches us to trust God in our prayers to Him. We are to be persistent and not grow weary in our Christian lives knowing that God will hear our cries and will bring us through every situation.

A Pure Heart- God does not reward those who seek Him with worldly sins in their hearts. We must come to God with genuine repentance in a pure heart. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

"O My people, I have called thee to repentance and confession and forgiveness and cleansing; but ye have listened to My words as though they were but slight rustlings in the tree-tops - as though they were of little consequence and could be brushed aside at will. Behold, I say unto thee: Ye cannot resist My Spirit without suffering pain; and ye cannot turn a deaf ear to My words without falling thereafter into the snare of the enemy. Ye have not cried unto Me with all your hearts, buy ye have complained that I have not heard your prayers. Lo, is it not written, ‘The Lord is the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him?' And again, ‘Then shall ye find Me, when ye seek for Me with all thy heart.' Look no more to My hand to supply freely thy needs when ye have not humbled your hearts and cleansed your hands and come to Me with the sacrifice which I have required - even a broken and a contrite heart. Ye need not listen for Me to speak to thee when your ears are heavy from listening to evil reports." 396]

396] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 54.

"Hold fast that which thou hast, and let no man take thy crown. Let no man hinder thee in pursuit of the reward. Let nothing stand in the way of thy complete victory. Let no weariness or discouraging thought cause thee to unloose the rope of faith, but bind it the tighter and anchor fast to My Word. For My Word can never fail, yea, and all My good promises I will surely fulfill. Have not I said, ‘He that seeketh shall find'? And have not I promised to be the rewarder of them that diligently seek Me? Not of the dilatory seeker, but of the diligent seeker. Not of him whose seeking is in reality only wishing, but of him who has grown so intent in his quest that he has become wholly absorbed to the extent that he is unmindful in hi toiling of the sweat upon his brow. To the extent that he has ceased reckoning the cost, indeed, verily, has quit offering bribes, as though the fullness of God might be purchased, and has set out on foot, deserting all else to follow the call of the Spirit until…Until hunger is swallowed up in fullness…." 397]

397] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 108.

Praying for Good Things- In Matthew 7:7-12 Jesus teaches on prayer. He tells us to believe that when we pray God hears and answers our prayer ( Matthew 7:7-8). Jesus then gives an earthly illustration of a father and a son in order to explain a heavenly truth ( Matthew 7:9-11). It is important to note that Jesus tells us that our Heavenly Father will give His children the "good" things that they have asked for. In other words, one condition to answered prayer is that we must pray for things that are good for us and not harmful to our spiritual, mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. James addresses this issue in James 4:3 by saying, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." In other words, we are to learn how to ask for good things and not pray amiss.

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Matthew 7:7Comments- Matthew 7:7 emphasizes persistence in prayer.

Illustrations:

1 Kings 3:5, "In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee."

Jeremiah 29:13, "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart."

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?

Matthew 7:11Comments- Michael, our youngest child, who is about to turn three years old, had regained access to our bed over the last few night and managed to sleep between mommy and daddy. His sleep disturbed us all night with his legs and arms body rolling everywhere, waking up and asking for something to drink, wetting in bed on us, etc. When we had enough, we put him into another bedroom to sleep with Menchu's two sisters, as crowded as it already was. He slept for a while, but then began to cry, and wanted to sleep with us again. Menchu stayed with him for a while, talked to him, and spanked him for his relentless crying, which did not good, and finally agreed that he could come into our bedroom, only if he would sleep in his own baby bed beside our large bed. Having agreed, he comes back into our room. It is now about midnight and we are exhausted. After mommy and I settle back into bed, he starts his relentless, loud crying again, trying to gain access to our bed, which is just within his arm's reach now. We ignore him, and he cries bitter tears for almost half an hour. Mommy and I decide that we must win this battle, and hope that he will grow tired of crying and fall off to sleep. He calculates his strategy well and asks for a drink of water, and I get up several times and give him water, which seems to give him renewed strength to continue his crying. After close to an hour, realizing he was not going to get his way, he asks for mommy to come and massage him. She finally gets up to rub his back hoping this will appease him. Tired and weary, he holds up his little hand and asks mommy to hold his hand. She takes that little hand in hers and rubs his back with her other hand, and he immediately calms down and falls off to sleep. Mommy comes back to bed, and I hear her softly crying. She now had a hard time sleeping thinking about Michael's pitiful cries and pleas. She was touch by his final plea for mommy to simply hold his hand, knowing that he could not cuddle up against her this night and fall asleep safely in her arms. (28 August 2008)

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.

Matthew 7:12 — "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" - Comments - Matthew 7:12 serves as the concluding statement to Matthew 7:7-11, where Jesus teaches about persistence in prayer. Jesus now concludes by saying if God so willing gives to us when we ask, then we are to respond in the same manner to others. God blesses us in every aspect of our lives, so we are to so these blessings into the lives of others as well.

"for this is the law and the prophets" - Comments - Jesus summed up the Ten Commandments by saying we are to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and we are to love our neighbour as ourselves ( Matthew 22:36-40). This is the essence of the entire Old Testament commandments.

Matthew 22:36-40, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Scripture Reference- Note similar verses in the Scriptures about abstaining from retribution:

Leviticus 19:18, "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD."

Romans 13:8, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law."

Galatians 5:14, "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."


Verses 13-20

Perseverance Amidst False Doctrines - In Matthew 7:13-20 Jesus places emphasis upon the need to persevere amidst false doctrines. In this passage Jesus teaches us about the dangers along our journey to Heaven. He tells us that the path is narrow and many will not make it ( Matthew 7:13-14). We are told that there are many detours to mislead us ( Matthew 7:15-20). Jesus will expound upon this topic in His fourth discourse about handling offences in the Kingdom of God ( Matthew 13:53 to Matthew 18:35).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Narrow Way — Matthew 7:13-14

2. False Prophets — Matthew 7:15-20

Matthew 7:13-14The Narrow Way to Life ( Luke 13:22-30) - When God saves a Prayer of Manasseh , he purges him and deals with his heart to lay aside many activities of life that everyone else is actively involved in. God gives us a narrow path to walk with few things being morally right and God ordained. Many things become wrong. Many people of this world are walking paths of darkness, full of many kinds of vain activities.

If we contrast these two verses to the wilderness journey, we see that many of the children of Israel did not make it into the Promised Land. This point is stressed in Hebrews 3:7 to Hebrews 4:11.

Hebrews 4:11, "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."

Matthew 7:13 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:

Matthew 7:13Comments- The broad way is the easy way, that way that everyone does things. It is a path of doing what we feel like doing.

Matthew 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 7:14"and few there be that find it" - Comments- God's line is very straight and narrow. We must seek it, because it will not automatically find us. Note:

Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Matthew 7:15-20 — False Prophets ( Luke 6:43-45) - In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus warns us of false prophets, who are those who appear to be righteous, but are there to deceive us. Along this narrow path to Heaven ( Matthew 7:13-14) there are many detours to mislead us. We are to learn the voice of the Father and do His will ( Matthew 7:21-23). Otherwise, we will fall by the wayside as many people will do and miss Heaven because of the voices of the "false prophets." The voice of the false prophet can be used to test our true devotion to God.

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep"s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 7:15"Beware of false prophets" - Comments- In the Greek text, the emphasis is on the first word of the sentence. In this verse, the phrase "Beware of false prophets" begins the Greek sentence, carrying the emphasis. Likewise, verses 13,22emphasize the word "many" in the Greek, by having this word at the start of the sentence.

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Matthew 7:16"Ye shall know them by their fruits" - Comments- Obviously "their fruits" is something that the devil nor natural man cannot imitate. They can do some seemingly good works, but the fruit of Spirit cannot be copied by them ( Galatians 5:22-23). This spiritual fruit is our indicator that someone is walking by the Spirit of God.

Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Matthew 7:16Comments- If someone has every studied plants and biology, they know the important of observing a plant's fruit as a method of identification. Very often a particular plant cannot be easily identified by its leaves or bark alone, because many leaves are similar. The surest way of identification always lies in looking at its flowers or its fruit.

Matthew 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.


Verses 21-23

Glorification: Entering the Promised Land by Doing the Will of the Father ( Luke 13:22-30) - In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus Christ teaches on the subject of how to enter into our future glorification in Heaven. It is only those who stay on course and do the will of the Father who will enter into Heaven. Jesus will expound upon this topic in His Olivet Discourse ( Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46).

Matthew 7:21-23 teaches us to learn to hear the voice of the Father and to do His will. This is the only way to avoid being misled by false prophets. According to the parallel passage in Luke , these verses in Matthew's Gospel are simply a continuation of the passage on the narrow gate in Matthew 7:13-14.

This teaching to the Jews is telling them that by their traditions no man is justified before God. Many people today spend their entire lives within the framework of a church denomination that does not emphasize the need to be saved, or born again. Just as the Jews in the time of Jesus trusted in their ancient heritage and traditions and good works, so do many church members believe that they are going to Heaven because they have been a member of a church and lived a relatively good life. I have asked people of denominations that do not emphasize the born again experience, such as many Anglican and Catholics churches, about what it takes to get to Heaven. They reply, "If I am a good person," or, "If I attend church regularly." They base their relationship with God on good works; and this the exact mentality we see in those who come to Jesus in Matthew 7:22 as they declare their good works before Him. However, the theme of the Sermon on the Mount is a discourse on true righteousness before God, which takes place only in the lives of those with a pure heart who put their faith and trust in Him.

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.

Matthew 7:21"but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven" - Comments- The contrast in this verse is with one who does not do God's will.

Luke 6:46, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

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?

Matthew 7:22Scripture Reference- Note:

Mark 9:39, "But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me."

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Matthew 7:23Scripture Reference- Note:

Ezekiel 33:12, "Therefore, thou son of Prayer of Manasseh , say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth."


Verses 24-29

The Summary and Application to the Sermon on the Mount ( Luke 6:46-49) - In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus gives us His concluding remarks to the Sermon on the Mount. He tells us to be doers of the Word of God and not hearers only ( Luke 6:46, James 1:22-25).

Luke 6:46, "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

James 1:22, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

We find a similar conclusion in the book of Ecclesiastes 12:13 when King Solomon says, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Both conclusions refer to the need to keep God's commandments. Jesus states this in Matthew 7:21 by saying, "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."

Matthew 7:28-29 serves as a transitional sentence that the author uses between the five major sections of the Gospel.

Matthew 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Matthew 7:29 Comments - The Authority of God's Word- God's Word carries God's authority. As Jesus taught the Word of God, He delivered it with the authority of God. Such is the responsibility of the preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As he preaches from the Holy Scriptures, he speaks with divine authority.

Matthew 7:28-29Comments- Transitional Sentences- Matthew 7:28-29 serves as the first of five transitional sentences that mark the five major divisions of the Gospel of Matthew. Each of these five lengthy discourses ends with the similar phrase, "when Jesus had finished these sayings (or parables)," giving these five sections a common division.

Matthew 7:28-29, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

Matthew 11:1, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."

Matthew 13:53, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence."

Matthew 19:1, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;"

Matthew 26:1, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,"

Thus, each of these five discourses is separated with large sections of narrative material, with the discourses being interwoven between the narratives. Each section of narrative material relates to and prepares us for the next discourse.

Comments - Themes Reflected in Transitional Sentences- Matthew 7:28-29 serves as a transitional sentence and as a parallel passage to Luke 7:1. The parallel passage in Matthew 7:28-29 makes a similar statement, but reflects the office of the teacher by using the Greek words λό γος (G 3056) (sayings) and διδαχή (G 1322) (teaching). In contrast, Luke's passage reflects the office and ministry of the prophet in that the Greek uses the words ῥ ῆ μα (G 4487) (sayings) and ἀ κοή (G 189) (hearing). While λό γος is defined as "the expression of thought" (Vine), ῥ ῆ μα means, "that which is spoken" (Vine). A ῥ ῆ μα word is that which the Spirit of God inspires us to utter, while the λό γος word reflects more of the written Word of God as a doctrine that is taught. Thus, Matthew's Gospel reflects the teaching of God's Word, while Luke reflects a prophetic utterance.

Luke 7:1, "Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Matthew 7:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/matthew-7.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 24th, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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