Sorry I got to slacking on the Matthew study lately. We went out of town one weekend, I was a bit in the not-posting mood for a day or so and quite frankly Matthew 7 steps on my toes right off the bat! I didn't really know where to go with this chapter, what to point out, what to gloss over, to speak of it quickly and generally or take my time going through some of the passages. Except for the post the other day touching on the "golden rule" aspect of verse 12 and greeting folks being part of daily courtesy as well as loving our enemies, I'm just now getting back to my Matthew study. Let's see . . .
In the first teaching Jesus warns us not to judge. (Mt. 7:1-5) I think I was born with a judging gene because it comes too stinkin' easy for me to find fault in others while overlooking some of the fault in my own self. (Yes, unbelievably, I have faults. :-)) Later in this chapter Jesus instructs us to watch out for false prophets and tells us that we will recognize them by their fruit. I've heard people say we aren't supposed to judge, but we can be fruit inspectors. Perhaps we cannot judge people's intentions realizing we have distorted views based on our own fallible nature, but we can observe how people act (and react!) to others and circumstances in order to see if they are what they claim to be. What do you think? And what do you think this "fruit" is? Here is what Galatians has to say about what constitutes the "fruit of the Spirit."
Pretty decent stuff, eh? (Oh, and that watermelon looks divine! Yum!)
Right after Jesus tells us how to recognize false teachers, he says this, 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
Knowing Jesus is important to him. So is it less about being able to do good works in his name (prophesying, miracles, driving out demons) and more about relationship?