1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.
2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?
4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,
29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Interestingly, not giving holy things to dogs and pearls to swine comes in the context of judgment. Could He be saying that when we judge others, seeing only what is wrong with them, we allow this holy and precious vessel we’ve been made to be in Christ to be corrupted and vulnerable to trampling destruction? The criticism and condemnation we dish out are the openings of a door to the demise of our own treasured righteous identity. Though it is made to be right by Him in a priceless gift of life by grace, we make it ineffective and cheap by judging while we’ve been forgiven.
He then goes on to a perception of giving and receiving that removes a need to judge others to acquire and advance, for an understanding that the good in our life will come from the Father. Judgment can be replaced by asking rather than giving judgment. Our receiving, though, is affected by giving the same mercy and grace that qualifies us to accept anything from Him. When we ask in prayer, we need to forgive anything done against us. (Mark 11:25)
How we ourselves are judged will only be determined by what we do with what we’ve been given in the love and mercy of Jesus. It is not necessary to join with the crowd, follow after every crafty teacher, or even demonstrate spiritual authority if we are not listening to and doing what Jesus said with regard to judgment. Anything we feel we are building apart from this purity of heart will crumble and fall in its instability.
The necessity of grace and mercy is not just in its reception, but also in its dispersion.
I’ve heard it said that when we continue to ask of God the same request, we are actually in doubt and unbelief. I know when my kids were small, if they asked me repeatedly for the same thing, it would disturb me in a way, thinking they didn’t trust me to get it for them.
I believe we honor God when we demonstrate faith and persistence by thanking Him for hearing us and answering our prayers.
Matt 7:7 says “keep on asking… keep on seeking…keep on knocking…” maybe this isn’t necessarily for the same request but a continuance of our coming to Him, asking of Him & seeking Him, not in repetitious prayers but pressing in and not giving up while expressing our faith in Him and gratitude He is hearing us! Persistence is key! Don’t relax your confidence in God and His Word.