MATTHEW 7

We hope you find these notes helpful. Do feel free to download the material on this website for your own personal use, and also to distribute if you so wish. Under “SELF-PRINT BOOKLETS” you will find help on printing the posts in booklet form.  Please be aware that all the writing is copyright, so no alterations should be made.

Please feel free to comment on any aspect of what you find on this website using the contact form at the end of each article. We would be pleased to hear from you.

Survey of the chapter

Having established the authority of His word in chapter 5, as opposed to the word of the scribes, and in chapter 6 exposed ways in which hypocrisy may manifest itself, as demonstrated by the behaviour of the Pharisees, the King now gives His subjects the benefit of His wisdom, as the “greater than Solomon”. He then gives the definition of a wise man as “whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them”, verse 24.

Structure of the chapter

(a) Verses 1-5 Wisdom and the judging of others
(b) Verse 6 Wisdom and the profane
(c) Verses 7-12 Wisdom and prayer
(d) Verses 13-14 Wisdom and the pathway
(e) Verses 15-20 Wisdom and false prophets
(f) Verses 21-23 Wisdom and false professors
(g) Verses 24-29 Wisdom and prudence

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW CHAPTER 7, VERSES 1 TO 14:

7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

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.

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

7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

7:10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

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?

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.

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:

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

(a) Verses 1-5 Wisdom regarding the judging of others

7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Judge not, that ye be not judged- this saying is to be put alongside another, in which the Lord said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement”, John 7:24. The same word for judge is used in these two verses. It is the Greek word which means, first of all, to distinguish or decide, and then, in some contexts, to try, to condemn or to punish. The idea is of one who is assessing the conduct or character of another, and this is not forbidden. But two things are forbidden. First, to judge as if one has the right to sit as an official judge, and punish. Second, to judge as if one is authorised to decide what penalty should be imposed. This is to go beyond what is allowed.
If these two forbidden things are engaged in, then the King is warning us that He is qualified to sit as Judge, and also is authorised to impose a penalty. “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement unto the Son”, John 5:22. He will either do this in the present time with restraining discipline, or at His judgement seat, the Bema, or in the case of those believers who live outside the present church age, when He comes to earth to reign.

7:2 For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged- there will be a correspondence between the way we judge others, and the way He will judge us. If we are severe with others, we may expect that He will be severe with us. This is not to say that our judgement of others is the one He will adopt. Rather, our harshness in judgement will find its counterpart in His assessment of us. “He shall judgement without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgement””, is the word of James 2:13.
And with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again- whatever measure of penalty we judge fitting for others, He will judge fitting for us. This is a great incentive to be gracious and restrained in our dealings with others.

7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye- this is a metaphor to illustrate a further aspect to the matter of judging. The critical brother will find a small matter in his brother’s life and highlight it, condemn it, and may go so far as to suggest what the penalty should be.
But considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? All the time he is doing this, he fails to realise that he has a large timber plank in his own eye. This may be one reason why his view of the other brother is distorted and faulty, for the King will say in verse 5 that the man with the timber beam cannot see clearly.

7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye- in addition to the situation in verse 3, (hence the “or”), the man may go further than judging his brother, and take it upon himself to remedy what he thinks is a fault.
And, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? He has no moral right to assist him, for he is in a worse situation than the other.

7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye- to grandly pretend that he is in a position to correct the man, yet be in a worse situation than he, is hypocrisy, for his claim to be superior enough to correct his brother is a pretence.
And then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye- the King does not condemn the man’s attempt to help the other, but first he must engage in self-judgement. When this has happened, he is in a fit state to help, for his own fault is now removed, and he can act without hypocrisy.

(b) Verse 6 Wisdom and the profane

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.

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs- the foregoing wisdom has to do with a brother, a fellow-member of the family of God. Care needs to be exercised, however, in dealing with those who are not believers. The dogs of the Eastern streets were disease-ridden scavengers, and liable to be savage. We are especially told about the holy city that “without are dogs”, Revelation 22:15. The dogs then are unbelievers, but of the sort that have no appreciation of holy things. That being the case, holy things in the form of sound doctrine are not to be wasted on them, for they have no desire for them.
Neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you- swine, like dogs, were unclean, but whereas the dogs were unclean and to be avoided because of the disease they carried, the swine were unclean because their flesh was not to be eaten, according to Leviticus 11:7. The dog represents the morally unclean person, and the swine represents the religiously unclean person. Both are a threat to our spiritual health. If we do persist in casting “pearls”, that is, precious spiritual truths, to them, they will not have any interest, and will trample them in the mire beneath their feet as the forage for what they do have an appetite for. Moreover, frustrated because you have not thrown them what they wanted, they may turn on you to your spiritual hurt.
Of course we are commanded to preach the gospel to every creature, Mark 16:15, (by creature is meant every man as one of God’s creatures), but if some show themselves hostile, nothing is to be gained by persisting with them. Our resource at that point is prayer, for we are to pray for our enemies. If God graciously deals with them so that they begin to honestly search for the truth, then the situation is changed, and they may be helped.

(c) Verses 7-12 Wisdom and prayer

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

Ask, and it shall be given you- of course, we are not invited here to ask for anything at random. There are four things that govern the believer as he prays, as follows:
First, he must pray in faith, for the Lord will later say, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”, Matthew 21:22.
Second, the prayer must be in the name of Christ, for He said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, He will give it you”, John 16:23. To ask in His name is to pray in harmony with who He is.
Third, the prayer must be according to His will, 1 John 5:14 which it will be if we are “praying in the Holy Ghost”, Jude 20.
Fourth, the prayer must seek the glory of the Father, for He said “And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son”, John 14:13. So the Son welcomes opportunities to answer the prayers of His people, because He may thereby glorify His Father, which is what He ever seeks to do. Because this promise to answer is so grand, He repeats it in the next verse to reinforce the truth, “If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it”, verse 14.
So what is it we are to ask for? The answer is found in verse 11, where we are told that our Father gives good gifts to them that ask Him. We have already referred to Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians that God might grant them to have wisdom by the Spirit’s working, so that they might understand the things of God better, Ephesians 1:17,18. The apostle tells us about other things he was asking for in 3:14-19. He desired that the Ephesian believers might be “strengthened with might”, “that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith”, that they might be “rooted and grounded in love”, that they might “know the love of Christ”, and they might be “filled with all the fulness of God”. The Philippians were to pray for the apostle, that he might not react wrongly to his imprisonment, and the way some were using his restrictions to further their own preaching careers, but would be given, by the Spirit, the grace to display the attitude Christ would have adopted in that situation, Philippians 1:19. So wisdom, strength, the consciousness of Christ dwelling within, an appreciation of the fulness of God, ability to display right attitudes; all these are gifts we may very well ask our Father to give us.
Seek, and ye shall find- “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”, Matthew 6:33. This should be the general principle underlying our prayers. In the parallel passage in Luke, the exhortation to ask, seek and knock comes after the reference to a man going to his friend at midnight to ask for three loaves, because he had unexpected guests, Luke 11:5-13. His initial asking was rebuffed, but he kept seeking, and no doubt knocking, until the friend reluctantly gave him what he asked for. If asking, seeking, knocking receives a response from a man, surely it will receive a willing response from our Father.
Knock, and it shall be opened unto you- to ask is to make a simple request; to seek is to make an earnest request; to knock is to make an insistent request. We are warned that we shall not receive answers to prayer by “much speaking”, 6:7, for that is a substitute for believing prayer. We shall receive answers, however, by persistent prayer, and that is completely different.
This exhortation comes after the warning about giving holy things to the dogs, verse 6. This suggests that the asking, seeking and knocking is in connection with the spread of holy truth. We should ask for grace to enable us to proclaim the truth; we should seek ways to promote the truth; we should knock on the “door of opportunity”, that God sets before us, and it will open for us. See, for examples, “a great door and effectual is opened unto us”, 1 Corinthians 16:9; “a door was opened unto us of the Lord”, 2 Corinthians 2:12; “Withal praying also for us. that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ”, Colossians 4:3.

7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened- we learn here from the Son of the Father Himself that this is the attitude His Father will adopt when we come to Him with believing hearts and earnest desires.

7:9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? The word “or” in this verse is slightly different to the one in the next verse. The word used here distinguishes two terms. In this case between our Father giving what we ask and an earthly father giving what a son does not ask. It is highly unlikely that the earthly father would react like this. He would not give his son what looked like a loaf, but was in fact a stone. How much less likely is it, indeed impossible, that our heavenly Father would reject our request.
This shows what a test it was for Christ in the wilderness, when He was surrounded by the stones of the desert floor, and the Devil tempted Him to make them into bread, implying that His Father had not provided for Him, even though He had done so for Israel when they were in the wilderness.

7:10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? The word for “or” here is simply a further example of what is found in verse 9. The serpent may be a little like a fish, but the latter is an edible delicacy and the former is not. The Lord Jesus provided bread and fish for His hungry and disillusioned disciples on the shore of Galilee. It was just what they needed to encourage and strengthen them.

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?

If ye then, being evil- until the resurrection day, believers have the sin-principle within them, and they have to be careful to walk after the Spirit so as to counteract that, see Romans 8:5-13.
Know how to give good gifts unto your children- the King here reminds His followers that even though there is an evil tendency within them, they would not be so unkind as to give stones for bread or serpents for fish to their child.
How much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him? If an earthly father responds kindly, then certainly our heavenly Father will. In the parallel passage in Luke we read “how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Luke 11:13. Now the gift of the Holy Spirit is given at the moment of new birth, so this cannot mean the Holy Spirit Himself being given. But we have already seen that the gifts that our Father gives are in connection with the Holy Spirit. Paul prayed the Ephesians might be given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, by which he meant that the Spirit of God might be known by them in that capacity. So also in Philippians 1:19, where the apostle seeks the prayers of the believers that he might have a supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. By this he meant that the Spirit of God, who is also the Spirit of Christ, might enable Him to manifest Christ-like features in the testing time he was going through.

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.

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them- there is a general principle for us to follow in this connection. If we are those who wish men to give us bread, then we should be prepared to give bread to them as well. And so in connection with everything that others may ask of us. The generous giving of our Father should be our example. Note the way the apostle used the attitude of Christ when He, though rich, became poor for our sakes, 2 Corinthians 8:9, and the giving by God of His unspeakable gift, 9:15, when he was exhorting believers to be generous in their giving.
For this is the law and the prophets- this is not some new idea, but one that is found consistently throughout the law and the prophets. The law required that men love their neighbours as themselves, so whatever they might want for themselves, they must be prepared to do for others. The King had not come to destroy that way of living, for He displayed it perfectly Himself, and His people should follow His example. Micah sums it up for us when he asks, Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God?…He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:6,8.

(d) Verses 13-14 Wisdom and the pathway

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:

Enter ye in at the strait gate- it is important to remember that these words are spoken to those who have, in the past, professed to believe. This is not a word for sinners, but for those who claim to be believers. There comes a moment, once the teaching of this address has been thought over, and the strong claims it makes have been thought through, that a person resolves that he will go in for the things of the King with his whole heart. This means that other things, even if they are legitimate things, will need to be set aside, in favour of treading a pathway of obedience to Him. The pathway cannot be begun with unnecessary things about us, for the entrance-gate to a proper life for Christ is narrow.
For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction- before He describes the pathway beyond the narrow gate, the King warns us of the grim alternative. To think that the life of the believer is one of self-indulgence of some sort or another, is to enter by the wide gate. This leads to a broad pathway, where the discipline of Christ’s teaching is not accepted, and the desires of self are cultivated. This path has an end, for the judgement of the believer’s life will take place at the Judgement Seat of Christ, and all that was not for Him will be rebuked, and then destroyed. He will repeat the warning in 16:5, “for whosoever shall save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for My sake shall find it”. To live for self on the broad way, with no restraint, is to lose that life at the end, for there will be nothing for Christ in it, and it cannot therefore be carried over into eternity. To live for Christ on the narrow way, accepting the limitations that taking up the cross involve, will result in something for Christ at the end of the road, and the life shall be discovered to have passed over into eternity.
And many there be which go in thereat- the King is able to discern the hearts of those who profess to follow Him, and His sad verdict is that it is the many that go on the broad way. They are on the broad way because they decided to enter by the wide gate.

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

Because strait is the gate- this verse continues from the first part of verse 13, where entry through the strait or narrow gate is encouraged. The reason why we are exhorted to enter the strait gate is given here.
And narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it- the narrow way corresponds to the narrow gate. The path does not broaden out after one has entered the narrow gate. We need to take thought before we commit ourselves to entering this gate, for it is a life-path, not a short term journey. Sadly, just as the King knew many were on the broad path, so He knew that few were on the narrow one. As the apostle Paul wrote, (“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things”), Philippians 3:18,19. Such are they who are on the broad path. Those on the narrow way are described in the verses before and after the words just quoted, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so, as ye have us for an example…for our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ”.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW CHAPTER 7, VERSES 15 TO 29:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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?

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

7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine:

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

(e) Verses 15-20 Wisdom and false prophets

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

Beware of false prophets- those who are walking the narrow way should beware of men who would seek to divert them into wrong paths. They claim to be able to make known the mind of God, but they are unbelieving imposters. The apostle Peter highlighted one of their characteristics with the words, “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those who were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption”, 2 Peter 2:18,19.
Which come to you in sheep’s clothing- this is a triple deception. The Old Testament prophets like Elijah wore a hairy garment, 2 Kings 1:8, and so did John the Baptist, Matthew 3:4. Zechariah 13:4 speaks of false prophets who “wear a rough garment to deceive”. These, however, are pretending not to deceive, for they come in sheep’s clothing. The second deception is that they pretend to be true shepherds, for they try to convince men that they have made garments out of sheep from their flock that have died. The third deception is that they not only pretend to be shepherds, but try to appear to be sheep as well. Clearly these men are very determined deceivers.
But inwardly they are ravening wolves- in heart they are savage, and will not spare the flock. The apostle Paul warned the elders of the assembly in Ephesus, “after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock”, Acts 20:29. His exhortation to the elders was “therefore watch”.

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

Ye shall know them by their fruits- so subtle and devious are these men that we might despair of recognising them. The King tells us how. It is by seeing the result of their ministry, and the character of their own lives.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Thorns and thistles are not fruit trees, so we do not expect to find figs or grapes on them. The thorns and thistles only pose a danger, they do not nourish and preserve like figs and grapes. So if no spiritual graces are found in the lives of these men, we know they are either thorns or thistles, the fruits of the curse, Genesis 3:18. In fact Peter labels such men as “cursed children”, 2 Peter 2:14.

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

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit- grape vines and fig trees yield good and beneficial fruits because it is their nature to do so. As the apostle John wrote, “he that doeth righteousness is righteous”, 1 John 3:7. It is not that a man becomes righteous by doing righteous things, (for those who are not righteous by nature have no ability to do righteous things), but that his righteous acts are the outworking of a righteous nature, which comes through faith. This is true of every beneficial tree; there are none that are good that produce poisonous fruit.
But a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit- sometimes a tree is attacked by disease or fungus, and its ability to yield wholesome fruit is destroyed. So man is corrupted by sin, and of him it is said, “there is none that doeth good, no, not one”, the reason being that it is also said, “There is none righteous, no, not one”, Romans 3:12,10.

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

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit- the Lord is speaking in absolute terms here, and there is no possibility of a good tree bringing forth that which is contrary to its nature. As the apostle John writes, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”, 1 John 3:9. So looked at from God’s point of view, the believer is His child, and His life is within him, enabling good things to be done, for God is good in essence.
Neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit- by the same token, a sinner has a nature incapable of doing that which is essentially good. He may do things that his fellow-sinners class as good, but as far as God is concerned, (and He is the standard of good), he is tainted and spoiled by what he is by nature.

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

Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire- there is no possibility that an evil tree will change into a good tree. These words are a repeat of what John the Baptist said during his ministry, 3:10. If a man is going to change he must be cut down in repentance, and then be a plant that the Father plants, for as the Lord will say later on that “Every plant, which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up”, Matthew 15:13. The casting into the fire is God’s verdict on an evil tree; He has no use for it, and He will ensure that it is cast into the Lake of Fire for ever and ever.

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

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them- the “them” refers to the false prophets of verse 15, who may disguise themselves, but cannot conceal the sort of fruits they produce. This is the test the true believer must apply to them. Do the false prophets yield that which is glorifying to God in their own lives, and do they encourage good fruit in the lives of those who listen to them and believe them? It matters not how pleasing their personality, and persuasive their words. If they do not give evidence of spiritual virtues, they are counterfeit, and should be turned from.

(f) Verses 21-23 Wisdom and false professors

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.

Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven- the King now turns to those who are influenced by false prophets. They make pretence of owning the Lordship of the King, but He knows their hearts, and will bar their entry into the kingdom when it is manifest. He knows how to distinguish between sheep and goats, the blessed and the cursed, Matthew 25:31-34.
But he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven- the test of genuineness is conformity to the will of the Father. After all, we are to pray that the day may speedily come when the will of the Father is done on earth as it is in heaven, 6:10, and this will only happen when Christ’s kingdom is set up on the earth. Note that this implies that He, the Son, did the will of His Father on earth. It is this that qualifies Him to only allow those who are like Him to enter the manifest kingdom. A man must be in touch with heaven to do the will of heaven on earth, for the wisdom of this world is opposed to God’s will.

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?

Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? To add the name of the King to that which claims to be an unfolding of His mind, but which is not, is a serious matter. As the apostle Paul asked, “what communion hath light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14.
And in Thy name have cast out devils? “if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?” Matthew 12:26. Such are the words of the King. To claim to cast out devils in the name of Christ is to associate that holy name with that which is evil and wicked. Yet it is clear that there will be those who are so bold as to claim to be true believers, yet they cast out devils by the power of Satan. In the day when the King begins to reign their falsehood will be fully exposed. But we have been warned already, so should be on our guard. And those who claim to cast out devils today, should examine their hearts whilst they have time to repent of their folly.
And in Thy name done many wonderful works? Presumably this means miracles, rather than dramatic works of charity. Those who claim to work miracles today should note the temporary nature of the sign-gifts of apostolic times. The purpose for which they were given has been achieved, and if there are those who claim to work miracles then they do so by the power of the enemy. Now is the time for doing greater works than those which the Lord Jesus did. Such works have to do with the setting out of the truth of God, which is a far more powerful work that even performing a miracle, see John 14:12,13.

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

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you- here is the King’s verdict beforehand, so that we may be clear as to His thoughts on the matter, and act accordingly. Despite their bold claims, these men had no living relationship with Christ, and as such we simply unbelievers parading as genuine subjects of the King. They professed His name, but He will deny that profession. Note it is not that He knew them once and then lost contact. There never had been a vital relationship.
Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity- their claim to be working for His kingdom is exposed as a sham, and it is fully revealed that they all the time were working for the kingdom of darkness.

(g) Verses 24-29 Wisdom and prudence

7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them- Solomon in his proverbs wrote of wisdom, that it dwelt with prudence, Proverbs 8:12. So here, the greater than Solomon is speaking of those who combine the wisdom of the words He has uttered in His address on the mountain, with prudence, the careful and accurate application of wisdom. James exhorts us, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”, James 1:22. And again, “whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed”, verse 25.
I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock- because he knew the dangers that would beset the house he intended to build, the wise man took good advice, and built his house on a foundation that would not give way when the dangers came. He did not wait until calamity came, but began in wisdom. We are prepared here for the teaching of chapter 16, where the Lord foretells that He will build the church on the rock. Peter’s confession of the doctrine that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God is the rock on which the church is built.

7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

And the rain descended, and the floods came- this is very heavy rain, the sort that fell before the flood in Noah’s day. The rain would represent the difficult and trying conditions that the subjects of the King will experience whilst they wait for Him to set up His kingdom. The apostle warned that perilous or difficult and trying times would come upon God’s people, 2 Timothy 3:1. The heavy rain causes the rivers to overflow, and the house the man has built is in the path of the flooding. The subjects of the King must expect to be in the line of opposition, for the prince of this world is in control at present, and he opposes the truth. The house the wise man has built is the target of his attack.
And the winds blew, and beat upon that house- in the similar passage in Luke, there is no mention of winds blowing. There is also no mention of the errors of the scribes as they taught the law of God wrongly. We may say then that the winds represent evil doctrine that assails the true subjects of the King. The wise man has built his house on the doctrine of Christ, but the “every wind of doctrine”, Ephesians 4:14, with which the enemy of truth attacks the believer, opposes what he has built. The combined force of the rain and the wind relentlessly puts the house to the test.
And it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock- this is the sole reason why it did not collapse. The foundation was the vital part. Those who obey Christ’s word shall be safe, whatever the opposition. And that safety is because of who He is, as expressed in His doctrine, the rock-foundation. The wise man’s house will stand in the judgement day as an eternal monument to the wisdom of building on the foundation of Christ’s doctrine.

7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand- in the light of the teaching of chapters 5-7, this man is a false professor, who claims to hear Christ’s words, but is shown to be false by the fact that he does not put those words into practical effect. He builds on the sand of his own thoughts, and the thoughts of those who have mislead him.

7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it- the same trials and difficulties came upon this man as upon the wise man. The only difference between them was whether their house was on the rock or the sand. The enemy of truth delights to cause the house of the fool to collapse, because unbelievers are unable to distinguish between the wise and the foolish, and so think that their houses are the same. In this way the truth is undermined.
That the fall of the house was great shows how impressive it was. A grand mansion had been built by the fool, and many, no doubt, looked at it with wonder. But when it fell, its fall was as impressive as the look of the house had been. So shall it be in the judgement day, for the false professor shall be exposed as one who had no regard for Christ, and his loss will be eternal.

7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine:

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings- this, or a similar expression, occurs five times in Matthew’s gospel, and could be thought of as dividing the gospel up into its seven parts, as follows:

(a) 1:1- 4:25 The King and His preparation.

Critical events leading up to the beginning of Christ’s ministry after the imprisonment of John the Baptist.

(b) 5:1-7:29 The King and His precepts.

“And it came to pass, when Jesus these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine”, 7:28.

(c) 8:1-10:42 The King and His power.

A series of ten miracles, the “powers of the world to come”.

“And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding His twelve disciples, He departed thence to preach and to teach in their cities”, 11:1.

(d) 11:1-13:53 The King and His parables.

A series of seven parables about the kingdom.

“And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed thence”, 13:53.

(e) 13:53-18:35 The King and His previews.

The preview of kingdom-glories is followed by forecasts of the building of the church.

“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”, 19:1.

(f) 19:1-25:46 The King and His prophecy.

The King presents Himself formally to the nation as their King, and then foretells what will happen to them if they reject Him.

“And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings”, 26:1.

(g) 26:1-28:20 The King and His parting.

Events which take place as the King leaves His nation, having been rejected by them, and crucified. He rises from the dead, however, ready to reign over them in a day to come. God has raised up Christ to sit on the throne of His father David, Acts 2:30.

The people were astonished at His doctrine- a wiser than Solomon is now in their midst, and just as the Queen of Sheba was impressed by Solomon’s ability to answer her hard questions, 2 Chronicles 9:2,6, so the people are astonished here.

7:28 For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes- what they perhaps did not realise yet was that His authority derived from His oneness with the Father. As He will later say, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but He that seeketh His glory that sent Him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him'”, John 7:14-18.
The Jews were astonished that one who had not been enrolled in the schools of the Rabbis should be able to teach doctrine so elevated and learned. They implied that He had thought up these things by Himself. The Lord Jesus gave them the answer; He was not teaching something that He knew independently, but what He knew from the Father directly. Nor was He teaching what men had taught Him, but what He knew in common with His Father.
If they wished to know that this was so, and had a will ready to obey what they learned, then they would find that what He taught was self-authenticating, and would convince them. They could also apply the test as to whether, by His teaching, He sought glory for Himself, or whether He glorified God. The rabbis would fail this test, but He does not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.