Tag Archives: Matthew 7

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 132/260: Read Matthew 7

What is your reaction to the teachings of Jesus? Do you read an incident from His life, read what He said, and think, “That was a nice story”? Perhaps you are drawn to His love and grace, or perhaps to His compassion and humility. And certainly, those are excellent qualities that we should all strive to emulate. But do you dig in to the actual words He said? The demands that He makes on His followers?

In the first century, when people heard this Man teach, they were “astonished.” The things He taught were so radical when compared to what the religious elite taught that it blew their minds. He wasn’t just reading from the Old Law, but He was applying the principles of God to the life of individuals. The gospel writers said that “He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Do we read the words that Jesus said and apply it to ourselves, or do we think they were meant only for the other guy? Do we honestly compare the way we live and interact with the folks around us to the way Jesus said we should live and interact with them?

If we hear and do the sayings of Jesus, He will call us wise. Our spiritual foundation will be built upon the rock of truth. Sadly, there are many who hear but fail to apply the Lord’s saying. Christ says such are foolish. Are you wish or foolish?

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Matthew 10:39. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Pray

Pray for a greater desire to live as Jesus taught we should live.

Fairweather Followers

The Oakland A’s were the best team in baseball in 1972, defeating the Reds four games to three in the World Series. Returning to the airport in Oakland after the deciding game in Cincinnati, the team was greeted by a throng of adoring “fans.” The players, however, said it was the first time some of them had seen the team in person. Third baseman Sal Bando said, “It was a madhouse. You couldn’t walk through the place. The fans were hysterical. We wondered where they came from, because they’d never been at the ballpark.”

How will Christ react to His many adoring “followers” when He returns? Jesus said, “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. 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?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness’” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Oakland’s attendance in 1972 was just under one million, 14th among the 24 major league teams. A championship team should not be in the bottom half in attendance, but it seems that the people of Oakland just didn’t expect the A’s to continue winning.

“Fairweather fans” will root with all their might when their team is winning, but switch allegiance as soon as there is trouble on the field. Sadly, the same is true in many congregations. “Fairweather followers” will never miss a worship service while they agree with the elders and preachers, but as soon as they feel someone stepping on their toes, their fidelity falters. Their attendance slips, they miss opportunities for fellowship, and may even start badmouthing the church to their friends.

When things aren’t going well, when temptations hit harder, when we feel all alone—that’s when we need the church the most. Work on developing a faith like those in Hebrews 11; don’t be a “fairweather follower.”

A Study of the Sermon on the Mount

I consider it a privilege to teach God’s Word and I am grateful for the opportunities that are presented to me by the Point Pleasant church of Christ. This past Sunday, I wrapped up an 11-lesson study of the Sermon on the Mount with the middle school class. There are many rich lessons to be found in Christ’s masterpiece.

Throughout my preparation, I made use of the commentaries of several scholars in the Lord’s church. Their works are available online at the following links:

My notes are presented here for your use as an aid in personal or class studies. Use them as you see fit.

Minor updates were made to pages 33-35 to correct typographical errors and make a statement clearer. If you have already downloaded a copy, please delete and re-download below. If you come across any typos or if anything needs further clarification, please let me know.

downloadClick here to download A Study of The Sermon on the Mount: Class notes compiled by Jason T. Carter (PDF format).