The Sermon on the Mount (V)
Comments for Study 11
Memory Verse: 8
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I. Judging Others (1-6)
>1. What is the difference between judging and discerning? (Romans 2:1, John 7:24) What is the danger of judging others freely? (2;6:14-15) By what standard do you think God judges his people?
Matthew 7:1, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."
* Romans 2:1 says, "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things."
* "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgement." (John 7:24)
* Judging is looking at someone self righteously and condemning them. Whereas, discerning is knowing the difference between right and wrong from God's point of view.
Matthew 7: 2 "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you." (2)
* Matthew 6:14-15 says, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, you Father will not forgive your sins."
* We will be judged and not be forgiven if we judge others.
* God judges (appraises) Christians by the standard we know. What ever our "known" standard is, we ourselves fail by this own standard. Most (if any) Christians know of the many sins we commit each day.
* Even Moses erred in the desert in that he judged the other Israelites on his own merit. He was severely punished because he knew more of God and his truth and acted wrongly.
>2. Whom is Jesus addressing when he says "your brother"? Why is the illustration in verses 3 and 4 a common problem not only in human society but also in the Christian community? Why does Jesus describe such people in verse 3 as hypocrites?
Matthew 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?"
* "your brother" -Christians and coworkers.
* Judging others builds hatred in men's hearts. Thus it separates us from others.
* "hypocrites" -A hypocrite is one who knows but does wrong anyway, and/or they say one thing and do not do what they say. A form of is judging others while do the same. All men are sinners.
Matthew 7:4 "How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?"
* "speck...plank" -sins. By using a "speck" which is small, and "plank" which is big, Jesus doesn't mean others sins are "bigger" or "worse" than our own. What he saying is, one's sin is a bigger deal to oneself than anothers sin is to oneself.
* "when all the time there is a plank in your own eye" -Jesus does not suppose that people don't have planks in their eyes. In fact he is saying we do have "planks in our eyes. 1 John 1:8 says, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."
>3. How can we avoid the sin of judging others and instead truly help our brothers overcome sin? (5)
Matthew 7:5 "You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye."
* "first take the plank out of your own eye" -Know your sins and stop doing them.
* "then you will see clearly" -A sinner can not understand another. The farther we are from sin (the "holier" we are) the better equipped we are. Steve's parable: "A sick doctor can not heal a sick person. He will only infect the patient again." A forgiven person can forgive another and with God's help, help the another.
>4. What does "what is sacred" or "your pearls" refer to? (13:45) Who do "dogs" and "pigs" symbolize? (2 Peter 2:22, Proverbs 11:22) Why is discernment and wisdom necessary in helping people? (Proverbs 9:8)
Matthew 7:6 "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces."
* "Give...throw" -Jesus expects his disciples to teach the word of God and deliver the gospel
* "dogs...pigs" -Those who reject the truth and oppose the truth. 2 Peter 2:22 says, "Of them the proverbs are true: 'A dog returns to its vomit," and 'A sow that is washed goes back to the wallowing in the mud.'"
* "sacred...pearls" -The words and truth of God. Matthew 13:45 says, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls."
* "trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces" -Those who oppose God, opposes God's messenger. Jesus warns me to be selective on who I give the word of God. Jesus wants me to have discernment. Proverbs 9:8 says, "Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you."
II. Everyone Who Asks Receives (7-12)
>5. Why do you think we can best help our brothers through prayer? In what way can we say that prayer is "asking", "seeking", and "knocking"? What promise are given to those who pray?
Matthew 7:7-8 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
* "Ask...seek...knock" -Jesus wants us to pray. He wants us to come to him in prayer.
* "will" -Definite. But what is defiantly given, found, and opened? That is answered in the following verses.
* In affect this verse is a continuation of the previous verses. Jesus here is referring to helping our brothers and sisters. Thus he is saying we can best help our brothers through prayer because God can help them much better than we can; and because God will reveal to us things we do not know or see about them.
>6. How does a son's asking in verses 9-11 illustrate the good attitude Christians ought to have as they pray?
>7. Why don't people ask God for his good gifts? What does Jesus try to teach his disciples about God the Father in verses 9-11?
Matthew 7:9-12, "Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
* We should ask on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ, believing they will receive. We should ask believing God's love for them and us. We should ask trusting God.
* We don't ask God for his good gifts because we don't believe he will give them, because of a lack of faith, because of a lack of understanding and knowing God, and because people often don't think they deserve to receive them from God.
* Jesus teaches God loves us as our heavenly Father.
>8. Verse 12 is often called "the Lord's golden rule." How does this teach us that Christians must have a basic objectivity in putting themselves in the place of others? In what way is this golden rule the principle of Christian conduct and the goal of the law and the Prophets?
Matthew 7:12 "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
* This is a summery of what Jesus has been saying in these verses. In short we should understand other Christians and pray for them.