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Matthew chapter 7

New International Version

1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
6 Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
13 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
15 Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
21 Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' 23 Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.'
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
English Standard Version

1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are 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 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
King James Version

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. 6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
New American Standard Bible

1 'Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; andby your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at thespeck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or howcan you say to your brother, ‘Let me take thespeck out of your eye,’ and look, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take thespeck out of your brother’s eye!
6 'Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to 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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what person is there among youwho, when his son asks for a loaf of bread,will give him a stone? 10 Orif he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 So if you, despite beingevil, 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 'In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 'Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is constricted that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 'Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You willknow them by their fruits.Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the 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 So then, you willknow them by their fruits.
21 'Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform manymiracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; LEAVE ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’
24 'Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell and thefloods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does notact on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell and thefloods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and its collapse was great.'
28 When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.
New Living Translation

1 'Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
3 'And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye.
6 'Don't waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don't throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
7 'Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 'You parents--if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.
12 'Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
13 'You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.
15 'Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can't produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can't produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
21 'Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, 'Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.' 23 But I will reply, 'I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God's laws.'
24 'Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.'
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 for he taught with real authority--quite unlike their teachers of religious law.
Christian Standard Bible

1 "Do not judge, so that you won't be judged. 2 For you will be judged by the same standard with which you judge others, and you will be measured by the same measure you use. 3 Why do you look at the splinter in your brother's eye but don't notice the beam of wood in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the splinter out of your eye,' and look, there's a beam of wood in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First take the beam of wood out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother's eye. 6 Don't give what is holy to dogs or toss your pearls before pigs, or they will trample them under their feet, turn, and tear you to pieces.
7 "Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him. 12 Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
15 "Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You'll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can't produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn't produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you'll recognize them by their fruit.
21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, drive out demons in your name, and do many miracles in your name?' 23 Then I will announce to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you lawbreakers! '
24 "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn't collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and doesn't act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. It collapsed with a great crash."
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 because he was teaching them like one who had authority, and not like their scribes.

What does Matthew chapter 7 mean?

Matthew 7 concludes Matthew's telling of Jesus' long Sermon on the Mount, begun in chapter 5 (Matthew 5:1–2). This passage is the source of phrases which have echoed through western culture. Among these are "judge not, lest you be judged," "do not cast pearls before swine," and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Jesus commands His followers not to judge each other—a statement easily and frequently taken out of context. What immediately follows, including most of the rest of this chapter, is a careful description of the right way to judge. What Christ condemns is arrogant, hypocritical condemnation (John 7:24). Those who presume to take God's place as judge will be judged in the same way. Human beings are unqualified to pronounce judgment in the same way as God because they are unable or unwilling to see their own sinfulness. Only after a person has addressed their own sin, and admitted their own condition, can they help others address their sin. Even then, the goal is to help and not to condemn (Matthew 7:1–5).

This passage also offers a warning: not all people are receptive to truth. Some are openly hostile to it. While it's important to shine as light in the world (Matthew 5:16), it's equally important not to waste precious efforts on those committed to hatred or ignorance. The warning not to "cast pearls before swine" means nothing more or less than that: it's wasteful and unwise to offer something others will hate, even if it's valuable (Matthew 7:6).

Jesus promises radical attentiveness, from God, to the prayers of His children. Every one of God's children who asks will receive. Those who seek from God will find. To those who knock, God will open the door. This applies to concepts like prayer, from a believer. It also suggests the way in which all people, in all times and all places, are obligated to seek and find God (Romans 1:18–20; Psalm 19:1). God answers sincere seekers of truth, because He is a good Father. Human beings are, by nature, sinful—and even they give their children what they need instead of what will harm them. God the Father does the same (Matthew 7:7–11).

The principle western culture refers to as the Golden Rule is rooted in God's ultimate purpose behind His law and commandments. While other philosophies frame this as a restriction—"do not" do those things you would not like done—Christ poses something more challenging. His command is positive—"you should do" those things you would want others to do. This captures the spirit of all of God's commands to His people (Matthew 7:12).

Jesus then describes two roads: one accessed by a narrow gate and one with a wide entrance. He commands His followers to enter by the narrow gate, which follows a seemingly harder path, but leads to life. He acknowledges that many will take the easier path through the wide gate, though it leads to destruction. This emphasizes the fact that Christ, alone, is the means of human salvation (John 14:6), and those who reject Him do so to their own ruin (Matthew 7:13–14).

The clearest example of a "false prophet" is someone who pretends to deliver messages from God. These liars are like hungry wolves in sheep's clothing, disguising themselves in order to take advantage of their victims. Jesus warns believers to beware of them. False teachers can be identified, mainly, by what results from their lives and teachings. Healthy trees don't bear bad fruit. Unhealthy trees will be cut down and burned. While this most directly applies to those claiming to be leaders and teachers, the idea of a false prophet can apply to anyone who promotes error or sin (Matthew 7:15–20).

The idea of liars who fool other people is only one side of spiritual deception. The other side is spiritual self-deception. There are those who will look at their supposedly great deeds and presume they deserve heaven. That may even include those who refer to Jesus as "Lord," claiming to know Him and presuming He knows them. However, only people who actually do the will of the Father will enter the kingdom of heaven—and that starts with legitimate faith in Christ (John 6:28–29). Doing great works while borrowing Jesus' reputation is not enough. Those who are not truly Christ's followers will be sent away on judgment day, rather than being welcomed in (Matthew 7:21–23).

Jesus' sermon concludes with an illustration emphasizing the difference between merely hearing Jesus' teaching and fully living by it. Those who apply His words are like a wise man who built a house on a rock. Those who don't are like a foolish man who built a house on sand. When both houses are hit by the same storm, the house on the rock will stand while the house on the sand falls hard. Life brings challenges to all people. The foundations of life, faith, and belief will be tested by those experiences. Only those with faith grounded in something true—which is Christ alone (Acts 4:12)—will endure those storms intact (Matthew 7:24–27).

The crowds were astonished by Jesus' teaching because He taught with authority. Rather than speaking in half-measures, or referring to the wisdom of others, Christ speaks as One who absolutely knows the truth, first-hand. Not only is the character of Jesus' life different from that of Israel's religious leaders (Matthew 5:20), both the style and substance of His teaching are unique, as well (Matthew 7:28–29).