What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus spoke with authority—the authority to teach and to judge.
- Jesus does not want fans… fawning admirers… He wants followers.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Again, whether or not someone is a disciple can be seen by their fruit.
Extended thoughts and observations:
This is an embarrassment of riches. There is so much in one chapter. The first half is rich; second half is very hard and ominous.
Notice that the whole of verse 1 does not say don’t judge. It is saying be careful how you DO judge because you will be judged in the same manner. We are not called to limp lives without opinion. Notice the similarity with Golden Rule later. Judge the way you want to be judged. And treat others the way you want to be treated. Many use this verse as the definition of how they know they are Christian. It doesn’t work because we are evil. (Notice that is Jesus’ judgment of us! in verse 11!) BUT if we are saved disciples of Christ, then there is no better guide for the rest of our lives than to ask that question before we act. Would I want to be treated as I am about to treat them?
The last half separates the wheat from the chaff. Notice: good trees DO bear good, bad ones bad. You cannot choose to bear a certain kind of fruit. You simply will bear what you have trained your tree to be. It’s a long game of faithful discipleship that these three sections speak of. Choose the narrow way of Jesus vs. YOUR broad way. Don’t think that even calling Jesus Lord is enough, or even doing really religious things, if we do not do the Father’s will which — notice this — is knowing His Son. Verse 23! Finally, build your life on the right foundation or, when storms come, and they will… you will be devastated.
For me… reining in my snappy judgments and treating others the way I want to be treated… and feeling free to accept the invite to “ask” the father for anything… those are my takeaways.
How about you?