Read Matthew 7:1–12
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 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.
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? 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? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
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 turn and tear you to pieces.
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 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! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectIn this part of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus turns to more practical items. Do any apply to you?
How do we navigate life as followers of Jesus? Are we expected to be his moral deputies—ready to pounce on other followers who don’t measure up? Are we also obliged to share our faith continuously with doubters, even in the face of their growing op-position and hostility? And how are we expected to engage the invisible Father, and Jesus, about daily matters?
Jesus took up the question of mutual correction and applied a variation of the Golden Rule: be ready to receive the sort of justice you administer (2)! And just in case we missed the point, he turned to hyperbole—comparing a speck in one person’s eye to a plank in the critic’s eye.
Jesus also followed up on his earlier promise of God’s provi-dence. If any of us need something, just ask! He used a common form of argument from his day: by moving from a lesser case to a greater application. That is, if you behave well towards your own children, “how much more” will God be gracious? And, once again, he applied the Golden Rule (12).
You may have questions to ask Jesus, or honest needs to be met. Write them down. As you continue to ask, seek and knock, write down when and how God answers.
This reading invites us to ask, seek and knock on the door of “your Father in heaven.” Do so, and then relax.