"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Matthew 7 -- Judging, Fruit Inspecting & Knowing

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?



Anonymous said...

VERY INTERESTING-that last verse. I have many thoughts about. I think I will go do what I have to do and InshaAllah come back to post them-I need to put my words together carefully. But to leave a question first...it seems to me Jesus is explicitly telling people NOT to call upon him or go "through" Him which is my understanding of the basic belief as a Christian-am I wrong? And what do you get from that verse? Can you explain to me what I am missing(based on what I said I understood from the verse and if it's right-what I understood-..why people do it anyway?)because maybe I am not understanding correctly? :) And that was all said as a calm and sincere- and genuinely interested- tone...wanted to say that just in case it sounds different. :)

Susanne said...

Shell, ha, ha! I don't mind even if you are a bit aggressive...seriously! Can't two friends have "passionate" discussions when they don't always see eye-to-eye? Great question. I'll muse over what you said and get back to you. I hope you will do the same as I'd love to hear your further comments. Don't worry about how you come across to me. You know I've been blunt on your blog and you've always been gracious. So I'll do the same, I promise. :)

Talk to you soon!

Wafa said...

( In the first teaching Jesus warns us not to judge).
I don't know if this a human nature or what, but i have never met anyone who dosen't judge.It's a kind of mechanism to defend and protect ourselves. judging people to find faults and distance ourselves from their faults to defend the idea that we are all with faults and that we are not the ONLY one with faults. protecting ourselves from the shame and guilt of being full of fualts. Dunno if i am right or not but maybe.

Susanne said...

Wafa', I like what you shared concerning your own experiences. Yes, I think it's normal to judge others or compare ourselves as a way to see if we measure up. Thanks for sharing that!

Amber said...

Human nature is to judge others. So don't feel so special! ;p

'(Yes, unbelievably, I have faults. :-))'

*gasps in horror* Say it isn't so! My world is askew!

Here's my thing on the miracles and driving out demons. Those're all things that can be done *without* knowing Jesus. Remember the magicians of Pharoah's court and how they could imitate some of Moses' signs? Not all of them, but enough so that the people believed that their gods had power. If you don't truly know God, you can still say, I do this in His Name, but if you're not really *there*, then you sort of have to step back and wonder, where is the power coming from?

Susanne said...

"Human nature is to judge others. So don't feel so special! ;p"

Now this the smart-alecky Amber whom I missed all those weeks! :)


'(Yes, unbelievably, I have faults. :-))'

*gasps in horror* Say it isn't so! My world is askew!

Pretty hard to believe, I know. Heheheheh.

Ohhhh, I love what you shared about Pharoah's magicians and the miracles they performed. Excellent insight - thank you! That seems so true!