Relationships are what matter
Today’s culture is very individualistic, but Jesus says that it’s relationships and communities that matter.
Attitude to our brother/sister, Matthew 7:1-5
- How do we respond when a problem arises in a relationship? Jesus makes it clear we’re not to judge, Romans 14:4.
- So what do we do? First, we examine ourselves and get our own life sorted with God, that’s what matters first before meddling in other people’s lives.
- If we’re not to judge, what should our attitude be to others? Verse 5, we’re to be brothers and sisters to one another. He’s not saying to mind our own business, instead we have a brotherly/sisterly responsibility to others.
- What’s most important is the order, we’re to correct ourselves before God first, and we can then lovingly take the speck out of our brother’s eye.
Attitude to ‘Pigs’ and ‘dogs’, Matthew 7:6
- Jesus was referring to wild dogs and the pigs were unclean animals to Jews. The pearl represents the gospel and the pigs and dogs were those who’ve had ample opportunity to hear and receive the good news but have consistently rejected it.
- Luke 10:10-11, Acts 13:44-45
- Jesus is saying let your words, life and ministry count but there will be rare occasions where you’ve shared the gospel but it’s time to move on. The normal Christian duty is patience and persistence, but Jesus is saying that there is freedom to be guided by God and move on.
Attitude to Heavenly Father, Matthew 7:7-11
- Jesus is encouraging us to be urgent when we come to God in prayer, Ask, Seek, Knock.
- Parallel passage is Luke 11:9-14, Jesus challenges us in our relationship with God and asking him, not for material, emotional or spiritual protection, that’s covered in the Lord’s prayer, but for the Holy Spirit and he will gladly give it.
- Verse 11 talks about good gifts, it’s not talking about material gifts but spiritual gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:1. Bread and fish are essential for us to live and good gifts are essential for our spiritual life.
Attitude to all men, Matthew 7:12
- Jesus sums up everything in this verse, do to others what you would want done to yourself and that answers a thousand scenarios.
- Nobody lived this way fully except Jesus, but we are to be genuine, gentle, gracious and full of gratitude to others. It’s counter cultural, we’re not focusing on ourselves but focusing on loving one another.