Red Letter Year: 3/26

Matthew 7:15-29


“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.


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.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.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’


Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 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. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”


When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, for he taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.



In yesterday’s reading, Jesus warned us about judging other people, looking for specks in other people’s eyes while ignoring the two-by-four in our own. This does not contradict that, it builds on it. You might have a plank in your eye. If so, you should do something about that. Here he puts it another way: your life is producing fruit, is it good fruit or bad? Are people being nourished and refreshed by your fruit, are they enjoying it? Or is your fruit mucking up the drawer in their refrigerator, waiting for trash day so it can go out with the least stench possible? To extend the analogy a bit, maybe your fruit isn’t nourishing or rotten, maybe its tasty but has no nutritional value at all. Maybe your fruit is like a Krispy Kreme donut. So tasty and pleasing in the moment, but not good for you and if eaten regularly, quite bad for you. Our sin nature makes our fruit rotten. Our culture makes our fruit vapid. Only you and the Holy Spirit can figure out what sort of fruit or pastry you’re producing. I encourage you to spend some time praying and reflecting on the fruit you’re producing, on the foundation you are building your life on. Let’s commit to being super fruitful. The Spirit will help us be so.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Red Letter Year: 3/25

Matthew 7:1-14

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 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? 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.

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.

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. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 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.

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.

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. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.


This passage seems to be about trust to me. Do we trust God enough to take care of people’s specks? Do we trust God enough to keep asking, even when answers seem slow in coming? Do we trust God to take care of us? Do we trust God enough to follow his plan of us doing for others what we wish they would do for us? This requires trust because really following the Golden Rule makes us quite vulnerable to being taken advantage of. Do we trust God for when that happens? Do we really believe this in a new kingdom God is establishing through our labor? I hope we do. God is trustworthy. Try really following these for a week and see what happens. God doesn’t mind the chance to prove Godself. God will show you that your trust is well placed.

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.