(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
- “Do not judge, so you might not be judged.
- “For you will be judged by whatever verdict you judge. And you will be measured by whatever standard you measure.
- “And why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t consider the log in your eye?
- “Or how will you tell your brother: “Let me remove the splinter from your eye.” and look: the log is in your eye.
- “You hypocrite! First, remove the log from your eye; and then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.
Asking, gifts, and the narrow way
- “Don’t give holy things to dogs,1Wild dogs were regarded as scavengers and loathed much like coyotes or raccoons are today. The lexicon even mentions that dog could refer to “a man of impure mind, an impudent man” (Thayer’s Greek lexicon) or even a “spiritual predator” (HELPS Word Studies). nor throw your pearls in front of pigs, lest they will trample them with their feet and having turned, they might tear you to pieces.
- “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you.
- “For every man who asks, receives; and the man who seeks, finds; and to the man who knocks, it will be opened.
- “Or what man is among you who – when his son will ask for bread – he won’t give him a stone will he?
- “Or if he will ask for a fish, he won’t give him a snake will he?
- “Therefore, if you being evil *know to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in the heavens give good things to the men who ask Him?
- “In all things therefore – whatever you desire that men might do for you – you must also do thusly to them, for this is the law and the prophets.
- “Enter through the narrow gate, because wide is the gate, and broad is the way leading to ruin,2“ruin” this word is often translated “destruction”, but it more accurately implies a “loss of well-being” rather than a “loss of being” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary). i.e. they don’t cease to exist (which would be “destruction”) but rather their quality of life is destroyed. The word “destruction” can also have that connotation, but “ruin” seems to fit the Greek word better. and the men who enter through it are many.
- “For narrow is the gate, and *constricting is3“constricting is” is a single word in the Greek. It refers to compressing via pressure, in a way that makes you feel constricted, restricted, or hemmed in. the way leading to life, and the men who find it are few.
Know them by their fruit
- “Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothes, but inside they are marauding wolves.
- “You will know them from their fruit. They don’t gather grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles do they?
- “So every good tree produces noble fruit, but a rotten tree produces bad fruit.
- “A good tree isn’t able to produce bad fruit, nor is a rotten tree able to produce noble fruit.
- “Every tree not producing noble fruit is cut off and thrown into the fire.
- “Therefore, you will know them from their fruits.
- “Not every man who says to Me: “Lord, Lord” will enter into the kingdom of the heavens; but only the man who does the will of my Father in the heavens.
- “Many will say to Me on that day, “Lord, Lord; didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name didn’t we cast out demons, and in your name didn’t we perform many miracles?”
- “And then I will agree with them but say: “I never knew you. Depart from Me; you men who work without regard for God’s commands.4“without regard God’s commands” is one word in Greek, and is more literally “ignoring God’s law”. It’s a noun, and literally means “those who are without law”; i.e. those who – either by ignorance or by rebellion – don’t obey God’s (moral) law. 5quotation/allusion to Psalm 6:8
- “Therefore, every man who hears these words of Mine and does them will be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
- “And the rain fell down, and the floods came, and the winds blew; and they battered that house. And it didn’t fall, for its foundation had been built on the rock.
- “And every man who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t do them, he will be compared to a foolish man who built his house on the sand.6In Israel, heavy rains from the hills cut long “trenches” through the limestone rock. One of these water-cut trenches is called a “wadi”. Most of the time, these are essentially dry riverbeds. However, when heavy rains come, they turn back into streams or rivers for a time. Often, the water comes through the wadi so fast that it resembles a flash-flood. At the bottom of a wadi is sand. Its likely Jesus was talking about someone who built a house in a (temporarily dry) riverbed – a wadi – that is known to flood. That would be foolish indeed.
- “And the rain fell down, and the floods came, and the winds blew; and they battered that house. And it fell, and its fall was great.
- And it happened, when Jesus finished these words, that the crowds were stunned in amazement at His teaching.
- For He was teaching them like one having authority,7“authority” It’s possible that the “authority” that stunned the crowd was a technical term. Properly called “semikhah”, the Jewish word literally means “laying on of hands”. Its origins (as a technical term of authority) go back to Moses. Moses was given authority by God, and God commanded him to pass some of that “authority” to Joshua by “laying hands on him” in the sight of the people. (Num27:15-23, Deut 34:9) The Jews believed this authority was then passed down through “laying on of hands” to Jesus’ day. Rabbis with semikhah had the authority to make decisions in the meaning of the Law and other spiritual matters. In Jesus case, that meant a new interpretation of the Law. However, ordinary scribes (Torah teachers) could only teach what those with semikhah had established. and not like their scribes.8This Greek word literally means a “scribe”, or someone who writes as their profession. However, it’s often used in the New Testament for those learned in the Mosaic Law.
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