Matthew 7:1-10 – “Do not judge and criticize and condemn [others unfairly with an attitude of self-righteous superiority as though assuming the office of a judge], so that you will not be judged [unfairly]. 2 For just as you[hypocritically] judge others [when you are sinful and unrepentant], so will you be judged; and in accordance with your standard of measure [used to pass out judgment], judgment will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the [insignificant] speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice and acknowledge the [egregious] log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite (play-actor, pretender), first get 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 that which is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, for they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
7 “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will [instead] give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will [instead] give him a snake?
Most people read these verses as vv. 1-5, see v. 6 a bridge, then vv. 7-10 but since there were no verse divisions in the original I suggest you read these verses in the context of one continuing thought. I think it will take on a somewhat different shape when you do.
Jesus begins with Judging and issues the warning that if or maybe when we judge (we all do) whatever standard we use will be the standard that others and God uses with us. The emphasis is deal with your own issues BEFORE attempting to deal with the issues of others. Then verse 6 shows up and the implication, if the verses are read as one thought, is when we fail to deal with the logs in our own eyes. We will likely judge others critically the message we are conveying will be rejected and our pearls will be trampled in the pig trough and not have their intended effect. Not only that, but those we are judging, while we have glaring issues in our own lives will result in them turning on us and attacking us. If we are a Pharisee or Legalist, we will wonder why they treated us so vilely and will claim that we are suffering for Jesus when the reality is we are suffering because we did not follow the biblical directive and we judged without first judging ourselves and dealing with our own issues.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of the next few verses in light of the previous six. Once we have judged ourselves and dealt with our own spiritual and personal issues THEN we are in a position to ASK and RECEIVE in a most powerful manner. It is the man or woman who follows the prescript of the first six verses that is in a position to not only ask but expect to receive what we have asked. BUT THERE IS MORE! The Golden Rule is viewed by most Christians as a Stand Alone but when connected as in these verses it becomes incredibly powerful. If we reject the temptation to Judge Others while needing ministry ourselves and we treat others as we want to be treated THEN, when we go to the Father in Prayer we go with an incredible sense of EXPECTATION because we are in Right Standing with the Father, walking out the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and Resisting the Devil. We are DEMONSTRATING CHRIST and EVERYTHING that Jesus asked the Father, the Father granted.
I would be remiss if I failed to connect vv. 13-14 to these passages and suggest that the narrow gate Jesus is speaking of is directly connected to the actions and the directives in the preceding verses. The wide gate is a Gate of Judgmentalism. The wide gate is a Gate of following our feelings emotions and nursing our wounds rather than forgiveness and demonstrating godliness, mercy, and forgiveness to others in all things and at all times.
Maybe this does not impact or resonate with you as it does me, but it touches me in a way that changes my entire view of interpersonal relationships. God bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!