Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged…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…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…Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened…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…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. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
As we continue to look at Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus preaches on judging, asking and, the “golden rule.” Jesus admonishes the crowd about judging others. The Samaritans were a neighboring people who, once, were part of ten tribes of Israel but, split away from Judah and Benjamin to form their own country. After their defeat by Assyria, many were hauled off to exile in Assyria and, others were left in the northern kingdom to be assimilated with Assyrians who moved into the land, intermarrying with the Jewish people in the land. “True” Jews hated their brothers who had intermarried and the Samaritans of Jesus’ day were the object of the Jews insults, racism, and maligning. Remember, Jesus witnessed, bringing salvation to the “woman at the well” in Samaria and Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees the parable of the good Samaritan, revealing their hypocrisy toward the Samaritans. Elsewhere, in Scripture, God tells Moses that judgment and vengeance is God’s domain and no one is to enter that area of human relationships. So, Jesus is reinforcing God’s commands to Moses for the Israelites in ancient times. Next, Jesus deals with asking, seeking and, knocking. Jesus is addressing perseverance by the believer in prayer to God for his needs. The three commands “ask,” “seek,” and “knock” are a progressive intensification suggesting an intense desire, from the heart, for an answer to the believer’s prayer. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus makes His same point in the parable of the persistent friend. And, Jesus ends His teaching on perseverance by telling the people that, ”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!” Lastly, Jesus teaches the “golden rule” that many of us learned as children, “So, whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Source: S C Ball January 18, 2023