Happy Monday! How is your reading going?
I would love to hear what verses hit you in a new way!
Today’s reading finishes up the famous “Sermon on the Mount” (ch.5-7), and then goes on to describe a collection of miracles. Matthew, the writer of this book, one of the 12 disciples, is Jewish. His goal in writing this book was to prove to his fellow Jew that Jesus was the guy they had been waiting for all these centuries. The genealogy listed in the first chapter, the miracles, all helped show his reader that Jesus was fulfilling OT prophesy. Because his audience was Jewish, he didn’t feel the need to explain Jewish customs as did other writers in the Bible.
Keeping that in mind helps me to read the verses a little more in how they were intended.
For example, when Matthew is quoting Jesus saying, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (7:1)
(I think this verse is frequently misused in our politically correct world), it helps to understand who was doing the hypocritical judging. The Pharasees (Jewish leaders) were notorious for this and Jesus nails them on it repeatedly. The key thing to note here is that it is hypocritical judging. It is not implying you can’t critically evaluate people you come in contact with. The very next verse says (7:6), “Do not give dogs what is sacred..” and (7:15) “Watch out for false prophets.” and (7:16), “By their fruit you will recognize them.” You need to have a discerning (critical or judging) mind in order to do that.
Scripture does not contradict it’s self. If you compare Matt 7:1 with 1Cor. 5:12, at first glance you could think it does. “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” This is a perfect example to keep the scripture in it’s context. When you do this you will see it doesn’t contradict itself.
Context is everything!!!! I love that you are reading through the whole NT with me so that you can see context for scripture that is old and familiar but in context can mean something entirely different than how you had been using the verse!