Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“Sermon on the Mount Part 3: The House Built on Rock (Matthew 7:1-29)” pp. 113-123.
Mitch views Matthew 7 as a climax in the Sermon on the Mount. “Here, as earlier in the Sermon, morality and spirituality are woven together with theology and Christology” (Mitch 2010, 113). First, Mitch sees Jesus addressing relational strife. Judgment which condemns another person’s heart is not allows (Mitch 2010, 114). Assessing another person’s need and bringing help requires careful self-examination, as shown in the teaching of the plank and the speck (Mitch 2010, 115). Careful and reasoned judgment is appropriate at all times (Mitch 2010, 116).
In prayer, it is appropriate to have confidence (Matthew 7:7) (Mitch 2010, 116). Our confidence is connected to our seeking of God’s kingdom, yet it is a sure hope.
Mitch finds Matthew 7:12 as the actual end of the Sermon, though Jesus continues with a few concluding remarks. It may well start and end with the concept of “the law and the prophets” from :17 and 7:12 (Mitch 2010, 117).
The concluding remarks in Matthew 7:13-20 are sobering (Mitch 2010, 118). The results of our following Jesus or not are the difference between life and death. There are ways we can be deceived and miss Jesus’ care. It is important to weight teachings carefully (Mitch 2010, 119). After the warnings Jesus describes himself as the final judge, the one on whose words all hope must be placed (Mitch 2010, 120). Creed and conduct must be in agreement to stand firm in Jesus’ favor (Mitch 2010, 121).
In application, we may wish to be cautious about Mitch’s teaching. We trust God’s grace but also our ability to live it out. “Should discouragement weigh us down along the way, let us remember that what Jesus demands of us he enables us to do” (Mitch 2010, 122). The ideal is there. God’s grace is there. But Mitch somehow ties God’s blessing to our efforts at living for Jesus.