Thursday, September 22
Matthew 7:1-14 TNIV
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from the other person’s eye.
“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 then turn and tear you to pieces.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock, the door will be opened.
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Most of us look on the Sermon on the Mount as a series of disconnected, or at the best very loosely connected, ethical exhortations. This, it seems to me, misses its point and its purpose. It has a center, and the entire Sermon revolves about that center, so that it is a coordinated whole. The center is the astonishing statement, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Around this as the central ideal the Sermon revolves as on a pivot.
E. Stanley Jones, The Christ of the Mount.