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Matthew 7

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

MATTHEW - CHAPTER 7

JUDGMENT OF OTHERS CHIDED

V. 1-6

1) "Judge not," (me krinete) "You all do not judge;" With this admonition begins the closing part of The Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 7:1-12 continues and concludes our Lord’s warning against Phariseeism. He advises, do not follow or develop the habit of disparagingly censoring others in haste, and prejudice, without the facts.

2) "That ye be not judged." (hina me krithete) "in order that you be not judged." Jesus would have His called out disciples, chosen witnesses, His church, to avoid the carnal tendency of pagan religious, heathen, Publicans, Pharisees, and Sadducees. For they attempt to pose as having a moral superiority, a formal righteousness, by speaking ill of, judging, despising and deriding others, Matthew 5:20; Luke 18:9. The one who avoids harsh unfair judgment of others will avoid their harsh judgment, 1 Corinthians 11:31.

Verse 2

1) "For with what judgment ye judge," (en ho gar krimati krinete) "Because with that (kind of) judgment you judge;" This is an high moral and ethical principal, evident among the civilized and uncivilized around the world, and our Lord would have His disciples respect it in prominent practice of daily conversation, Matthew 12:36-37; Luke 6:37.

2) "Ye shall be judged:" (krithesesthe) "You all shall be judged;" Even in forming and expressing judgment, things produce "after his kind;" Criticism genders its kind; Injustice incites returned injustice; Foolish words to harm motivate reactive words to harm, 1 Corinthians 5:12; Luke 6:37-38.

3) "And with what measure ye mete," (kai en ho metro metreite) "And with that or whatever kind of measure you all measure;" Whatever kind of measure you put to others will be put to you; the same standard will be required of you by others; Mr 4:24; Romans 14:3-4; Romans 14:10; Romans 14:13; 1 Corinthians 4:3-5.

4) "It shall be measured to you again." (methethesetai humin) "it shall be measured to you all," measured back to you, in return, James 2:13; James 4:11-12.

IT COMES BACK TO YOU

A little boy once went home to his mother and said, "Mother, sister and I went out into the garden, and we were calling out, and there was some boy mocking us." "How do you mean, Johnny?"’ said his mother. "Why," said the child, "I was calling out, ’Ho! and this boy said, ’Ho! So I said to him, ’Who are you?’ and he answered, ’Who are you?’ I said, ’What is your name?’ he said, ’What is your name?’ And I said to him, ’Why don’t you show yourself he said, ’Show yourself And I jumped over the ditch, and went into the woods, and I could not find him, and I came back, and said, ’If you don’t come out I will beat you and he said, ’I will beat you!’ " So his mother said, ’Ah, Johnny, if you had said, ’I love you,’ he would have said, ’I love you.’ If you had said, ’Your voice is sweet,’ he would have, said, ’Your voice is sweet.’ "Whatever you said to him, he would have said back to you." And the mother also said, "Now, Johnny, when you grow and get to be a man, whatever you say to others they will by and by, say back to you." And his mother took him to that old text in the Scripture, "With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”---Sel.

Verse 3

1) "And why beholdest thou the mote," (ti de blepeis to karphos) "Then why do you see the chip," why do you stare or glare at it? Why focus your attention, critical words of judgment and disparagement, Luke 6:41-42.

2) "That is in thy brother’s eye," (to en ophthalmo tou adelphou sou) "The one (chip) that is in your own brother’s eye;" For everyone of us shall give an account to the Lord for himself, Romans 14:12.

3) "But considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (ten de en to so ophthalmo dokon ou katanoeis) "Yet you do not personally consider the beam in your own eye?" Just why? Hypocrisy of slanted, unfair judgment, is here condemned; To find fault with a splinter or chip or small particle (a minute foreign matter), in the character of a brother while having a foundation beam in your own eye or character is the action of a fool, see? Romans 2:1-2.

Verse 4

1) "Or how wilt thou say to thy brother," (e pos ereis to adelpho sou) "Or how will you be able to say to your brother;" How is it so much easier to see your own brother’s little faults while dishonestly overlooking your own, is the force of the question, Romans 2:1-23. How dare you act as these Pharisee hypocrites act, Mr 7:1-14.

2) "Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye;" (aphes ekbalo to karpos ek tou oplithalmou sou) "Will you allow or permit me to pluck the chip out of your eye?" or the foreign particle from your eye, get rid of the little wrong I see in your life? Romans 10:1-4.

3) "And behold, a beam Is in thine own eye?" (kai idou he dokos en to ophthalmo sou) "And, behold, Is not a beam in your own eye?" Are you not a self-righteous, over-pious, deceitful despiser of others? Luke 18:9-14; Matthew 5:20. He who "thinketh he stands", in self­righteousness, is bidden to take heed, be careful, lest he fall, 1 Corinthians 10:12. A brother overtaken in a fault is to be dealt with in love, not in carnal, harsh condemnation, that he may both be restored, and strengthen the one restoring or helping to restore him from wrong, Galatians 6:1.

Verse 5

1) "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;" (hypokrita ekbale proton ek tou ophthalmou sou ten dokon) "You hypocrite, pluck first (in order) the beam out of your own eye;" Get rid of your own huge character-defaming wrong, that major moral or ethical weakness in your own conduct in life, in the way your influence is reflected. An hypocrite is one who feigns to be what he is not; normally, picturing himself to be better than another morally, ethically, or religiously.

2) "And then shalt thou see clearly," (kai tote diablepseis) "And then (at that point) you will see clearly;" You will be effective, influentially able, to assist an erring, weaker brother, rather than grinding him in powder with hyper-critical faultfinding remarks, to try to salve your own conscience from guilt of a greater sin than that of your brother with the mote, see?

3) "To cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye." (ekbalein to karpos ek tou ophthalmou tou adelphou sou) "To pluck the chip (small splinter of wood) out of your brother’s eye." The man or woman who poses as a helper of the children of others, or aged of others, while neglecting his own household’s needs, and their prior duties to them, becomes an hypocrite in his own household in these matters. Be cautious lest the hour of judgment find you listed among hypocrites of the church age, who are worse than infidels, Galatians 6:1; Psalms 51:10; Psalms 51:13; 1 Timothy 5:8.

Moral criticism is necessary in exposing sin and calling for repentance. Our Lord himself did this. The judgment to be avoided is that which is egotistic and self-righteous in nature, Luke 13:3-5; Matthew 23:1-36.

Verse 6

1) "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs," (me dote to hagion tois kusin) "Do not give or dole out that which is holy to the dogs," to the canines. Vile, profane, sniping faultfinders of holy people and holy things are often referred to as dogs in the Scriptures; because they seem by nature to snarl and snap at all that is holy and good, and be a-moral, Matthew 15:22; Matthew 15:26; Isaiah 56:10-11; Proverbs 26:11. Men are to beware of them, Philippians 3:2; Revelation 22:15.

2) "Neither cast ye your pearls before swine," (mede balete tous margaritas humon emprosthen ton choiron) "Neither should you, or are you, to cast your pearls before the pigs," Leviticus 11:7; 2 Peter 2:22. Hogs, as unclean animals, have no appreciation for pearls; they see no value or beauty in them.

It takes regenerate men to appreciate righteous truths, ethical and moral principles, and Divine Service. One with carnal nature, a selfish, covetous nature, an hog-nature cannot comprehend truth. He must receive a new nature to become teachable, 1 Corinthians 2:14; John 3:1-5.

3) "Lest they trample them under their feet," (mepote katapatesousin autous en tois posin auton) "Lest they will trample them with their feet;" They simply cannot discern or comprehend spiritual things. The habits of hogs and dogs simply confirm that they are unclean by nature. God’s children, His church especially,, are referred to as sheep, a clean animal, but never as hogs and dogs, see? John 10:27-30; Matthew 20:30-31; Lu 12;32; Proverbs 9:7-8; Proverbs 23:9.

4) "And turn again and rend you." (kai straphentes kreksosin) "And upon turning they may rend or tear you," for such is their nature, to destroy and tear up. By "dogs" Jesus referred to those of violent tempers and odious characters and by "hogs". He referred to those who were morally filthy and profligates, Acts 13:45-46; Proverbs 8:11.

As priests gave none of the holy sacrifices to dogs, He meant that His disciples should not spend their testimony or time of instruction on those who would blaspheme the Word, or deride it, trampling it under their feet, as if it were nothing, as swine would pearls.

Verse 7

INSTRUCTION AND THE GOLDEN RULE

V. 7-12

1) "Ask, and it shall be given you;" (aiteite kai dolhesetai humin) "You all ask, and it shall be given to you;" Our Lord once again gives direct instructions to His disciples, as a church people. They are to "ask" for what they wish, according to His will. This is a fundamental procedure to answered prayer, ask or inquire of God, James 1:5.

2) "Seek, and ye shall find;" (zeteite, kai heuresete) "You all seek and you shall find;" They are to seek for what they miss, or lose; Search earnestly for your desire from God, as David did, Psalms 27:8; Psalms 40:1-3; Proverbs 8:17.

3) "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you:" (krouete kai anoigesetai humon) "You all knock and it shall be opened to you:" The "it" may be understanding, opportunity for service, or for fellowship, etc. Whatever the honorable desire or need may be, His people are to ask Him for it, in perservance, Luke 11:9.

Verse 8

1) "For every one that seeketh receiveth;" (pas gar ho aiton lambanei) "Because everyone persistently asking receives," even from men, and more-so from God, Luke 11:5-10; Mr 11:24; Matthew 21:22.

2) "And he that seeketh findeth;" (kai ho zeton heuriskei) "And the one (each one) persistently seeking finds;" Such as seek Him with all their hearts find Him, Jeremiah 29:13; Proverbs 8:17; John 14:13-14.

3) "And to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (kai to krousonti anoigesetai) "And to the continually knocking one it shall be opened;" Christ knocks at our hearts’ door, we let him or ask Him in as a resident guest, before we ask at the door of mercy. If we expect Him to open the door of His mercy, we must first open the door of our heart to Him. He forces His residence in the heart of no one. Nicodemus knocked by night, John 3:1-16; The palsied knocked by day; both were heard, Mr 2:5-12.

HOW TO KNOCK

When thou standest before His gate, knock loudly and boldly, not as a beggar knocks, but as one who belongs to the house; not as a vagabond, who is afraid of the police, but as a friend and an intimate acquaintance; not as one who is apprehensive of being troublesome, or of coming at an improper time, but of a guest who may rest assured of a hearty welcome.

Dr. F. W. Krummacher

Verse 9

1) "Or what man is there of you," (he tis estin eks humon anthropos) "Or what man exists of you all," or out of the number of "you all", of my church, what kind of a man is there among you all? Even paternal love provides for sons and daughters, how much more will God provide for His children, is the idea, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Philippians 4:19.

2) "Whom if his son ask bread," (hon aitesei ho huios autou arton) "Whom his son, if he should ask a loaf of bread," food for a day, to satisfy his hunger for one day; Matthew 6:11, indicates that God desires His children to make such requests of Him, and He will grant them.

3) "Would he give him a stone?" (me lithon epidosei auto) "He would not give him a stone, would he?" Would he, any responsible man among you all, give an earnest son who requests a loaf of bread or food for one day’s hunger, would he give him a smooth stone that looks like a cake or a loaf of bread, and expect him to be satisfied? Would he mock or make a joke of an earnest request?

Verse 10

1) "Or if he ask a fish," (e kai echthun aitesei) "Or even if he ask for a fish;" If he makes an honest sincere request for a fish, as meal for one day, to satisfy his hunger for that one day Matthew 6:11.

2) "Will he give him a serpent?" (me ophin epidosei auto) "He (his father) will not give him a serpent, will he?" Or something that looks like a snake to mock him, a fish forbidden by law to be eaten, Leviticus 11:12, will he? A father might refuse his son a loaf or a fish, but it would be out of character for any father to mock his son because he made him a request for a day’s food, Luke 11:11-12.

Verse 11

1) "If ye then, being evil," (ei oun humeis poneroi antes) "Therefore if you all being, existing with being a wicked state in the body," being totally depraved, but having love for your children, Ephesians 6:1-4; Hebrews 12:9-11. The worst of fathers among the disciples knew how to give good things to meet his children’s needs.

2) "Know how to give good gifts unto your children," (oidate domato agatha didonai tois teknois humon) "You all perceive (how) to give benevolent gifts to your children," good things that meet their needs, in life, by inheritance, or through a will, Genesis 24:36; Jacob gave Joseph his son a beautiful coat of many colors in his old age, Genesis 37:3; Joshua 15:19; 1 Samuel 2:9.

3) "How much more shall your Father which is in heaven," (poso mallon ho pater humon ho en tois ouranois) "How much more discreetly the Father of you who is in heaven," in love, wisdom, and judgment shall bountifully give, dole out, Luke 11:13.

4) "Give good things," (dosei agatha) "Will dole out or give over good or benevolent things to you," to you all who are objects of His special care, to whom He has pledged His eternal presence, as you live and labor for Him, Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:3-5.

5) "To them that ask him?" (tois aitousin auton) "To those repeatedly or continually asking him," as in Matthew 7:7, Mr 11:24; John 15:7.

Examples of such provisions are:

1) Israel in the wilderness, Deuteronomy 2:7.

2) Elijah in the famine, 1 Kings 17:6; 1 Kings 17:16.

3) The army of three kings, 2 Kings 3:20.

4) For the prophet’s widow, 2 Kings 4:6.

5) For Samaria in time of famine, 2 Kings 7:8.

6) For the multitude that followed Christ, Matthew 14:20.

7) For all Saints assured, Philippians 4:19.

Verse 12

1) "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would," (panta oun hosa ean thelete) "Therefore as many things whatsoever you all strongly wish," or whatever you strongly will, sincerely desire from the heart; Here our Lord’s church Disciples were confronted with the Golden Rule --- What it is and what it does for those who fulfill it, Luke 6:31.

2) "That men should do to you," (hina poiosin humin hoi anthropoi) "in order that men may do to you," the attitudes, dispositions, and deeds, you earnestly desire that men do to or show toward you all, Mr 12:28-34. Negatively, the idea is do not do anything in attitude, disposition or deed to anyone that you would not want him to do to you.

3) "Do ye even so to them:" (houtos kai humeis poiete autois) "You all do the same thing to them," the things you would most desire that men would do to you. Take the lead, set the example, doing the same kind of deeds or showing that very attitude of kindness, compassion, respect, and charity, or care for and toward them, John 13:34-35; Romans 13:10.

4) "For this is the law and the prophets," (houtos gar estin ho nomos kai hoi prophetai) "Because this is (the letter and spirit of) the law and the prophets;" This disposition, in practical or pragmatic living, is the essence of requirements of the law and prophets. In living the Golden Rule one fills the requirements or standards of The Law and the Prophets, Matthew 5:43-48; Leviticus 19:18; Romans 13:8; Galatians 5:14; 1 Timothy 1:5. Love is referred to by James as the Royal Law, James 2:8. The idea is that Divine and brotherly love rule the Iife of the true disciple. This is what is meant by Jesus, "I came not to destroy, but to fulfill," Matthew 5:17.

Verse 13

THE TWO WAYS--STRAIT AND BROAD

V. 13-14

1) "Enter ye in at the strait gate," (eisIthate dia tes stenes pules) "You all enter in through the narrow or restricted gate or entrance," of your own will or choice; You are continually to choose the direction of moral and ethical conduct your life shall take, as Joshua chose for himself and his family, Joshua 24:15. The term "strait gate" means "restricted entrance;" By or through Jesus Christ and the standards He had given, they were to go through Him and His way to glory, John 10:9; John 14:6.

2) "For wide is the gate, and broad is the way," (hoti plateia he pule kai euruchoros he hodes) "Because there is a wide gate and a broad way," a wide entrance, broad and roomy, expanded road, way or path; It is the way of humanism, let everyone do his own thing, go his own impulsive way; It was the way of Israel in the worst day of her decay when "Every man did that that which was right in his own eyes," Jud 21:25.

3) "That leadeth to destruction," (he apagousa eis ten apoleian) "Which is leading away into destruction." It is the "broad-minded," liberal way that leads to ruin, a way that offers "any god," any choice of standard for morality or ethical conduct; It is, "the way", through which many pass to death, as described Proverbs 14:12; Proverbs 16:25. These two courses of life are described, Psalms 1:1-6.

4) "And many there be which go in thereat:" (kai polloi eisin hoi eiserchomenoi di’autes) "And many are those going on continually through it," through the wide gate and broad way of Proverbs 16:25. The term "the way" was used regarding Jesus Christ as Savior, and His standards of conduct for man’s life, for one’s behavior while passing through life, Acts 9:2; Acts 19:9. In essence Christ is the restricted "narrow, or strait gate or door," and "The Way," that points or leads to life, even life more abundantly, John 10:10; John 14:6, in contrast with the broad, wandering, open, roomy passage and way that leads to ruin and abyss; Mr 10:23-27; Luke 13:24; John 10:7-8.

Verse 14

1) "Because strait is the gate," (hoti stene he pule) "Because strait (restricted is) the gate;" The passage door-way is one that has Divinely disclosed restrictions in choice of service and conduct, morally, ethically, and religiously, in spiritual exercise, John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Luke 9:23; 1 John 2:15-17.

2) "And narrow is the way," (kai tethlimmene he hodos) "And made or existing narrow or restricted is the way," the way of Christ, contrasted with that of Moses, the law, etc., Jesus came to and did fulfill the law and the prophets, raised the Divine standards required in them, to a higher plane, as standards of behavior for which they should strive, Matthew 5:17; Ac 3:18,29; Galatians 5:14.

3) "Which leadeth unto life," (he apagousa eis ten zoen) "Which is leading away into life," life eternal, more abundant life, that grants, not merely an entrance, but an "abundant entrance" into glory, John 10:10; 2 Peter 1:11.

4)"And few there be that find it." (kai oligoi eisin hoi keuriskontes auten) "And few are the ones who are finding it," seeking or searching to pursue the restricted way, of salvation in Christ, and the greatest degree of glory which is given to God by and through Him and the church which He purchased with His own blood, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 3:21. The two ways may be described as follows:

1) The strait gate, narrow way through which men are called to glory is by a) Salvation in and through Jesus only, John 10:9-10; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 8:24. b) The way of behavior through which one passes to the abundant and more abundant life is through the doctrinal, moral, and ethical standards one is called to embrace and follow in life through His church, Matthew 5:13-15; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 3:21.

2) The broad way is that of rebellion against God, as each does as he chooses, lives as he pleases, does in humanism, "his own thing" Jud 21:25; Proverbs 14:12; John 8:24.

Verse 15

HOW TO RECOGNIZE AND MEET FALSE PROPHETS

AND TEACHERS

V. 15-20

1) "Beware of false prophets," (prosechete apo ton pseudopropheton) "You all beware (be cautious or careful) of or from the influence of the false prophets;" For these prophets were proclaimers, dreamers who claimed to be true, but whose testimony was not in harmony with the Word of God, by which they must be recognized and avoided, Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; Revelation 13:11-17; Revelation 19:20.

2) "Which come to you in sheep’s clothing," (ortines erchontai pros humas en endumasi probaton) "Who continually come to you of their own accord in clothes of sheep;" Micah 3:5. If you value your souls and lives be cautious about becoming followers of "New light" prophets or teachers, who clothe themselves like the Lord’s flock, but are heretical, whose lives and doctrines contradict His. 2Jo 4:1-3; Colossians 2:8.

3) "But inwardly they are ravening wolves." (esothen de eisin lukoi harpages) "Yet within they are (exist as) greedy, ravaging wolves;" They are covetous, selfish ravagers of God’s flock, "blind leaders-of the blind," Luke 6:39. They are enemies of sheep, rapacious, insincere, mischievous. They are bent on devouring the flock, 2 Corinthians 1:2-3; 2 Corinthians 1:13-15; John 10:24-27; Acts 20:29-31; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Proverbs 23:7.

Verse 16

1) "Ye shall know them by their fruits." (apo ton karpon auton epignosesthe) "You all will, know them from their fruit," from their attitude, what they say, and still more by what they do, Romans 16:17-18; Mt :8,10; Galatians 5:22. Their work is devious, under cover, like wild canines that sneak in at night time, called "greedy-dogs," Isaiah 56:11.

2) "Do men gather grapes of thorns," (meti sullegousin apo akanthon staphulas) "They do not gather or harvest grapes from thorns," from thorn bushes, do they? 2 Timothy 3:5. As the fruit is evidence of the nature or kind of tree, so ones moral, ethical, and spiritual behavior tells what he is, Luke 6:43-44.

3) "Or figs of thistles?" (e apo tribolon suka) "Or figs from thistles, do they?" The moral state of man is reflected in what he says and what he does, Matthew 12:37; These "thorn and thistle"-bearing false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing, are recognized by their fruit, as described aptly and at length 2 Peter 2:1-3; 2 Peter 2:10-22 and by Judges 1:4; Judges 1:8-13; Judges 1:16; Judges 1:19.

Verse 17

1) "Even so every good tree," (houtos pan dendron agathon) "Thus or after this manner every good tree," sound and healthy tree, or every good man, good or Godly teacher or prophet, one whose heart, mind, and life is right with God, in harmony with His Word, Matthew 5:15-16; Ephesians 2:10.

2) "Bringeth forth good fruit;" (karpous kalous poieo) "Produces ideal fruit," as a matter of course, continually, repeatedly, season after season, John 15:2; Luke 6:45; 1 John 3:10.

3) "But a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." (to de sapon dendron karpous ponerous poiei) "But the corrupt tree produces fruit that is bad from within," the degenerate tree, by age, bad soil, or by nature, produces degenerate, unpalatable fruit; A degenerate, or unregenerate man, no matter how pious, can bring forth only bad fruit, Jeremiah 11:19; Proverbs 15:2; Proverbs 15:28.

Verse 18

1) "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, (ou dunatai dendron agathon karpous ponerous enegkein) "A tree that is good from within can not bear fruit that is bad from within," from the heart. Yet good fruit may become the prey of worms or fungus. It is out of the abundance or (overflow) of the heart, (good or bad) that the mouth speaks, Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45; 1 John 3:9.

2) "Neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit." (oude dendron sapon karpous kalous enegkein) "Neither is a corrupt tree able to bear ideal fruits." Good fruit consists of the "fruit of the spirit," Galatians 5:22-24; 2 Peter 1:4-11. The corrupt tree or natural root stock of every man is corrupt, Ephesians 2:3. Therefore, it cannot bear love, peace, joy, etc. but such as the corrupt tree bears is referred to as the "works of the flesh," Galatians 5:19-21.

Verse 19

1) "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit," (pan dendron me poioun karpou kalo n) "Every tree that does not regularly produce ideal fruit;" Each tree that is sterile, bears no useful fruit, season after season, offers nothing to its landlord; This is that unregenerate person whose rootstock of life is "at enmity with God;" He is not subject to the law of God, and does not respond to the influence of the Word, the quickening of the spirit, a new birth or new nature, so that he can bring forth good fruit, Romans 8:7; Hebrews 3:7-8; Revelation 22:17; James 1:21; 2 Corinthians 5:17. "If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his," cannot bear good fruit, see?

2) "Is hewn down," (ekkoptetai) "is cut down," or comes to be cut down, removed as an obstruction, deadweight, and expense to the owner, the Landlord. Every tree that is good by nature, that has a new engrafted nature, bears some good fruit, but the old nature, a child of God by wrath, can never produce any Godly fruit. God calls, convicts the sinner, and when he is cut down in life, yet a rebel, he goes to hell, Ephesians 2:3; Proverbs 1:20-27.

3) "And cast into the fire." (kai eis pur balletai) "And is thrown into the fire," to be destroyed, to be removed as an enemy, a hindrance to and leech on the landlord’s property. Jesus thus appeals to His disciples to cultivate much good fruit-bearing for their Lord; but He made it clear that those snake-hearted hypocrites, like Judas Iscariot within the church, and the Pharisees and Sadducees, pious religious people without the church, who could bear only polluted fruit, or no fruit of good nature at all, would finally be cast into hell, John 15:2; John 15:4; John 15:8; Galatians 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:4-9 commend good fruit. The following passages show that the bad fruit or no fruit root-stock tree, representing sinners by nature, who choose to remain that way through life, will be cast into the fires of helI at the end, even as the rich man, Luke 16:25-31; Matthew 3:10; Matthew 10:28; Luke 13:7; Matthew 25:41-46.

Verse 20

1) "Wherefore by their fruit," (ara ge apo ton karpon auton) "As a matter of observation from the nature of their fruit;" The fruit of the flesh is an evil, unholy, immoral, frustrating fruit, Galatians 5:19-21; But that of the Divine nature, new nature, engrafted Word is a desirable, holy, good fruit, according to the Book, James 1:21; 2 Peter 1:4-9; Galatians 5:22-24; Luke 6:45.

2) "Ye shall know them." (epignosesthe autous) "You all will know them," when you see and observe them. You will know or recognize the false prophet or professor, like Judas Iscariot among the saints, will not escape hell, the judgment of a righteous God for- his unbelief, though it be covered with a sham profession and religious veneer of ordination, office of service and positional prestige. As the snake-hearted hypocrisy of Judas’ profession came to light, so will every man come to meet his maker in righteous judgment, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Matthew 12:36-37; And God has left His children enough warning and information so that they may be good fruit­bearers and "fruit inspectors", so as to avoid producing bad fruit, even from their old nature, the carnal nature that remains in a child of God until death, 1 Corinthians 9:8-27; Romans 7:25; Galatians 5:17-25; This is a summary explanation of the indifference between a "false prophet in sheep’s clothing," that is inwardly "a ravening wolf," and a sheep of the Lord’s flock, of His church, Matthew 7:15.

False prophets are compared with wolves, dogs, and hogs; All are voracious, unclean, scavengers; They are sneaky by nature, flesh-eating for a living, loving vomit, slop, hiding in dark places and wallowing in the mire. Civilized people, informed people, are to recognize, be cautious of them, especially the religious ones, see? 2 Peter 2:22; John 10:12.

Verse 21

THE DANGER AND PERIL OF FALSE PROFESSION

V. 21-23

1) "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord," (ou pas ho legon moi kurie kurie) "Not everyone who repeatedly says to me Lord, Lord", (contrast Judas saying (Gr. “Rabbi”) “Rabbi” or “respected master,”) Mr 14:45, in expressing excitement, impulsive, or an emotional fervor or zeal, often mere lip service, a false profession, disapproved of the Lord, Isaiah 29:13; Ezekiel 33:31; Luke 6:46. Talk is cheap and a sham, when unaccompanied by holy living and service, to God and ones neighbors,

2) "Shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;" (eiseleasetai eis ten basileian ton ouranon) "Will enter into the kingdom of heaven," will commit himself, of his own accord, to the work of the church, which is referred to by Matthew only as the "kingdom of heaven;" Some thirty times the term is used restrictedly to mean only those saved, baptized, and having entered into a local body of Christ or the church, Matthew 16:18; Matthew 18:17.

3) "But he that doeth the will," (all’ ho poion to thelema) "But (in contrast) the one who does continually as a pattern of life, the strong will," Ephesians 5:17; James 1:22; James 1:25. Words of Christian profession must be accompanied by helpful deeds as leaves must be accompanied by fruit.

4) "Of my Father which is in heaven." (tou patros mou tou en tois ouranois) "Of my Father whose will exists (is being done) in the heavens;" Note, Jesus refers not to their father, but to "my Father", whose work and will I have indicated, in constituting you all here into the church, "my" Father’s Glory Body or agency in this age, Ephesians 3:21; 1 John 3:23-24. Jesus referred to God as "my Father" here, for the first recorded time.

Verse 22

1) "Many will say to me in that day," (polloi erousin moi en ekeine te hemera) "Many will repeatedly say to me in that day," that day of judgment accounting for them, Romans 2:16. Vainly having depended on their empty profession, morality, and good works to save them; They cry in horror, as the rich man in hell who heeded not Moses and the prophets did, Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 14:9-13.

2) "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name," (kurie, kurie, ou to so onomati epropheteusamen) "Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name?" by your authority. They will challenge Jesus Christ, the judge at that hour with impudent affrontery, attempt to argue their way into heaven on the basis of their good works, without a precedent regenerating faith in Him, John 3:3; John 3:5.

3) "And in thy name have cast out devils?" (kai to so onomati daimonia eksebalomen) "And in your name expelled, (cast or driven out) demons?" demon spirits, Luke 10:17-20. How many, besides Judas Iscariot, one of the empowered false apostles of the twelve, will be among those also described 2 Corinthians 11:13-15? See Titus 3:5-7.

4) "And in thy name done many wonderful works?" (kai to so onomati dunameis, pollas epoiesamen) "And in your name (by your authority) done many powerful deeds?" Many spectacular things; yet, this is not how salvation is received, a requisite to good works and church service, Ephesians 2:8-10. The necessary inference and major premise of their entrance into heaven’s appeal shall be, not on the merits of grace or faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, but on their good works, not by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior! See John 8:24; John 6:37; Romans 10:8-13.

Verse 23

1) "And then will I profess unto them," (kai tote homologeso autois) "And then (at that time of judgment) I will declare (by confessional affirmation) to them," openly declare, take off the mask, what I taught them while I was among them, or through my church and the word since, John 3:3; John 3:5; John 8:24; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Acts 16:31; Romans 1:16; Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-7.

2) "I never knew you:" (hoti oudepote egnon humas) "That I never knew you all, at all:" Had they ever been saved, born again, or confessed their sins before, and their faith and trust in Him, He could never have said, "I never knew you:" These had not once been saved, then lost their salvation as some falsely teach.

3) "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (apochoreite ap’ emou hoi ergagomenoi ten anomian) "Depart or be gone from me those continuously working (in) lawlessness," in selfish ways, for selfish purposes, to acquire salvation by their own hands. For covetous motives they did their deeds. They trusted, not in Jesus Christ, but in their veneer of pious testimony and good deeds, having faith in "these things," by them to demand an entrance into glory, see? Psalms 1:5-6; Luke 23:24-27; 2 Timothy 2:19. Men need "examine themselves", still, "whether they be or exist in the faith," or whether like these they be "reprobates," to be cast out and into final doom at that hour, 2 Corinthians 13:5; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

Verse 24

WISE AND FOOLISH FOUNDATIONS OF LIFE

V. 24-29

1) "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine," (pas oun hostis akouei mou tous logous toutous) "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine," these instructions of mine, contained in the Sermon on the Mount, which He was about to conclude, covering Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29. From that day to this, summarized as follows:

2) "And doeth them," (kai poiei autous) "And then does them," and acts, obeys, or follows these things, Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22; as disciples, (Matthew 5:1-2) true baptized believers then having obeyed His call to follow Him, called, a) The Salt of the Earth, b) Light of the world, and c) The Kingdom of heaven, the church, Matthew 5:1-2; Matthew 5:13-14.

3) "I will liken him unto a wise man," (homoiothesetai andri pronimo) "He shall be compared favorably with a thoughtful or prudent man," a man who acts favorably with wisdom, judiciously; He receives Christ as the Rock, a position of service in his house (the church, 1 Timothy 3:15), then in and through it obediently serves Him, to His glory and their reward, Ephesians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 3:8-15.

Verse 25

1) "And the rain descended," (kai katebe he broche) "And the rain came down," from above they descended, in torrents of fury they came down, Genesis 7:4.

2) "And the floods came," (kai elthon potamoi) "And the rivers came," of their own accord, came up, Genesis 7:6; Genesis 7:17.

a) The rains came from above.

b) The floods came up from below.

c) The winds came from all around. These tested the building.

The lesson is that both Christian character, in building a life and the church of Jesus in building a congregation, are tested on every hand, Matthew 5:11-12; 1 Timothy 3:12; John 15:20; 1 Peter 4:12-14.

3) "And the winds blew,". (kai epneusan hoi anemoi) "And the winds, they blew," the four winds revolving and twisting, as in a storm; from every direction they blew, is the idea, much as described in Noah’s flood, Genesis 7:4-19.

4) "And upon that house;" (kai prosepesan te oikia ekeine) "And they fell against struck or pressed against that house or residence," the one that was founded and "built up", upon the rock, Matthew 7:24, with comments.

5) "And It fell not:" (kai ouk epesen) "And it did not fall," did not come tumbling down, disintegrate, or come apart, or tear into pieces, as a poorly built house will under such powers of wind and water; It was safe as Noah’s ark, Genesis 8:1-22.

6) "For it was founded upon a rock." (tethemelioto gar epi ten petran) "Because it had been founded upon the rock," the strong and deep foundation, that was Christ or typified the Foundation Stone, the corner stone, and even that rock of artesian flow from which comes the water of Life; Upon that Rock He founded His church, Eph 17:6; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Corinthians 3:11; Acts 4:11-12; Matthew 16:18; Mr 13:34,35; 1 Timothy 3:15-16; Hebrews 3:1-6.

Verse 26

1) "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine," (kai pas ho akouon mou tous logous toutous) "And everyone repeatedly hearing my words or instructions," that is, who pays attention to them, who is responsibly enlightened, to whom the Lord stretches His hand appealingly, Proverbs 1:20-28; Romans 10:21; Matthew 27:37-39.

2) "And doeth them not," (kai me poion autous) "And is not doing them," either in salvation, or as a pattern of life and service, who hears and understands God’s call to both, but does not obey by giving heed in 1) Believing, 2) Confessing, 3) Being baptized, announcing his commitment to walk a new life of service, John 6:29; John 8:24; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10; Romans 6:4-5.

3) "Shall be likened unto a foolish man," (homoiothesetai anori moro) "He shall be compared closely with a moronic, or imprudent man," a man lacking of any reasonable judgement in behavior, though he has mentality to decide or not to decide, to receive, to trust or reject Jesus Christ as his rock (foundation) for salvation and his house or church as a place of service and worship, 1 Timothy 3:15.

4) "Which built his house upon the sand:" (hostis okodomesen autou ten oikian epi-ten ammon) "Who built or founded his residence upon the sand foundation," an unstable shifting, insecure foundation from ravages of wind and water. Sand is a light soil, easily removed from one place to another, either by blowing wind or running water. This pictures a person who makes an external profession, piety, good-works, and righteousness, that is self righteousness, like that against which Jesus warned, Matthew 5:20; Luke 6:46; Romans 10:1-4.

Verse 27

1) "And the rain descended," (kai katebe he broche) "And the rain came down," the testing came for them as it did for those who did not believe God, by the preaching of Noah, did not enter the ark by faith, were exposed when afore warned judgment came, Genesis 7:21-22.

2) "And the floods came," (kai elthon hoi potamoi) "And rivers came to be," resulting from the rain, as in the days of Noah, Genesis 7:4; Genesis 7:10; Genesis 7:17-20; Floods often came to destroy poorly built homes along river banks, even along the Jordan river, that often "swelled" or flooded beyond its banks, Jeremiah 12:5; Jeremiah 49:19; Jeremiah 50:44.

3) "And the winds blew," (kai epneusan hoi anemoi) "And the winds they blew," the four winds, from every direction, as in a storm, signifying the time of testings in life and leading to destruction, for this house and household so imprudently built with no salvation, no true love, prayer, or spirit of comfort in trials in life, Romans 8:9.

4) "And beat upon that house," (kai prosekopsan te oikia ekeine) "And they beat against or pressed against that house;" One had better be certain that there is an eternity of difference between the "wind" of human emotions, and the "wind of the spirit" of God, by which one is born again, led and comforted in a life built on service to God, John 3:3; John 3:5-8; John 6:63; Romans 8:11; Romans 8:14-16.

5) "And it fell:" (kai epesen) "And it fell," was destroyed by the wind and the flood. Our Lord forewarned of such, John 8:24; Luke 13:2; Luke 13:5; Luke 16:31; Mr 16:16.

6) "And great was the fall of it." (kai hen he ptosis autes megale) "And great was its fall;" Perhaps all Hebrew minds were quickened by the judgment of Noah’s flood, as an antecedent picture and example of inexcusable judgement doom and loss that shall come to all men in this Gentile and church age who reject Jesus Christ as Savior, and His call to service in His church. All sham and hypocrisy are brought to judgment, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

Verse 28

1) "And it came to pass," (kai egeneto) "And it came to be," or occurred, as He came to the conclusion of this inaugural address to His church on the Mount, Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29.

2) "When Jesus had ended these sayings," (hote etelesen ho lesous tous logous toutous) "When Jesus completed these words," the entire "Sermon on the mount," address, His inaugural address to the church, referred to as "The Kingdom of Heaven," etc., Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29.

3) "The people were astonished at his doctrine:"

(ekseplessonto hoi ochloi epi te didache autou) "The, crowds (beyond his disciples) were astounded at his teaching;" At the style or manner as much as the doctrine. Though the address of morals, ethics, and doctrine was addressed specifically-and restrictedly to His disciples. (the church), Matthew 7:1-3; Matthew 7:13-14, etc., part of the message was for them to carry to the world, the masses, some perhaps who overheard in the background that day, Matthew 5:1.

Verse 29

1) "For he taught them," (en gar didaskon autous) "Because he was teaching them, repetitously," with illustration after illustration, to clarify ideas and concepts He desired them to understand and follow in life, and teach to others, John 20:21.

2) "As one having authority," (hos eksousian echon) "As one who has, holds, or possesses authority," boldly or dogmatically, as having authority vested in himself, in the idea. And He did have authority, for He was the Son of God, Joh 3:35; 5:22,27; 28:18-20.

3) "And not as the scribes." (kai ouch hos hoi arammateis auton) "And not as their scribes," taught, with no direct attacks on sin, with a mass of rabbinical questions, quibblings, and quotations of traditions (of the elders) saying, "Rabbi so-and-so said, that Rabbi-so-and-so said, etc," ad infinatum. Such was the influence of the message on His disciples that day, and perhaps others who overheard.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Matthew 7". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/matthew-7.html. 1985.