The passage for today is Matthew 7:1-29. You can read this passage online or on your phone by following along with The Essential Jesus reading plan on bible.com, or you can read it in your physical Bible. Take a few minutes to read Matthew 7:1-29 carefully, inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you read.
What did you see in the text? What is the main point being communicated? Here are some of the things that I saw.
This is the final part of the Sermon on the Mount, and Jesus covers many important topics. He starts off with one of the most famous verses in the New Testament: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” We can expect to be judged in the same way that we judge others. But, according to Jesus, we are not reliable judges because we are deeply sinful. We cannot remove the speck of sawdust from our brother’s eye because we have a massive 2×4 in our own eye! Before we can help our brother with his speck, we have to remove our own 2x4s.
The end of this chapter is also very interesting. Jesus talks about building a house, which he uses as a metaphor for the way that we live our lives. Jesus’s teaching is a foundation of rock, and when our lives are built upon it, the trials and tribulations of this world cannot knock us down. Anything else, however, is like building a house on sand. Sure, it might stand tall in good weather, but it will completely collapse at the first sign of wind and rain.
The last few verses of the Sermon on the Mount are the best application we can make: Build your life on this teaching! The words of Jesus are bedrock. They cannot be shaken or destroyed, and they provide the only sure foundation for our lives. Therefore, hear the words of Jesus and – just as importantly but what is so often forgotten – put them into practice. Don’t just listen to what Jesus teaches; do what he says! The one who hears and obeys Jesus will remain faithful until the end, and no storm from hell will shake him.
Jesus, your words are life. Help me to hear your words and put them into practice in my life. May I be the kind of person who looks at the plank in my own eye first. May I build my life upon the rock of your teaching, your life, your death, and your resurrection. Amen.