This chapter begins with the most-quoted, most-misunderstood saying of Jesus: “Don’t judge.” The issue He addresses is the hypocrisy of ignoring my own faults while mercilessly picking on others, jumping on their failures, and criticizing their mistakes.
Jesus is not saying that I have to endorse and embrace the sins of others. He is not saying that I can’t discern between good and evil, truth and lies. According to verses 15-20, disciples of Jesus are supposed to pay attention to the “fruit” in a person’s life that reveals their heart. The point of Jesus’ command against judging seems to be that I should not see myself as a judge in search of justice — I should see myself as a sinner in need of grace.
The teaching on prayer in verses 7-11 is inspiring, isn’t it? This is an open invitation for us to take our requests, our seeking, and our inquiries to our Heavenly Father, the one who loves to give us good things (v.11). We can approach Him with confidence; He is listening.
“The Golden Rule” (v.12) will revolutionize the way you treat people. Try it today — see what happens!
This chapter (and Jesus’ sermon) ends with a warning and a promise. Verses 21-23 is a final warning against hypocrisy: many people who have been outwardly religious but not inwardly righteous will be surprised to find that they are just as doomed and damned as the most wicked God-hater. In the end, the difference between “lost” and “saved” will not be your record of good deeds, but rather your relationship with Jesus and your obedience to His Father’s will. And what is the Father’s will for you? Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow His Son.
The familiar parable in verses 24-27 is a powerful promise. Jesus said that if I embrace the disciple’s life explained here in His sermon, my life will be rock-solid, able to withstand anything, because Jesus is my firm foundation.