The hypocrisy of
false prophets (15-20)
Mere confession versus doing God’s will (21-23)
life, only a few, bearing good fruit, does the will of My Father in heaven, I never knew you, build on the rock, astonished,
gate; small/broad road; destruction/life; many/few; sheep/wolves; grapes/thornbushes; figs/thistles; good/bad; say/do; wise/foolish;
rock/sand; did not fall/great was its fall.
1b. These contrasts emphasize the truth that there is a definite
criterion for entrance into God’s kingdom. The contrasts also bring to our
attention the drastically different endings of the two types of followers of
2. It is those
who abide by God’s will, not those who claim to know God, who are in the
kingdom of heaven.
1a. Verse 14 says
that the road that leads to life is difficult. While obeying our desires (the
wide gate and broad way) is much easier, following Christ and God’s will is
often harsh and restrictive (the narrow gate and difficult way). Being in God’s
kingdom involves suffering for righteousness’ sake and enduring persecution
(5:10-12,44; 10:16-39; 24:4-13; Acts 14:22).
1b. Having found the one true church of salvation, we need to
accept the truth and determine to obey God’s will all our lives. We must follow
Christ regardless of the cost, be it self-denial, persecution, restrictions, or
2. We can
recognize whether a prophet is from God by observing whether he truly practices
does not guarantee our place in God’s kingdom.
gifts does not necessarily mean that God is pleased with us.
Doing God’s will
is of upmost importance.
3. In order to
bear good fruits through our good deeds, we need to first be “good trees.” This
means that we need to examine ourselves spiritually and make sure that we have
good motives and are receptive of God’s word (Prov
4:23; Mt 12:33-35; 13:23).
4. The knowing
here is more than mere recognition, but an intimate knowledge of someone. The
Bible uses such language to refer to God’s closeness to those He loves (Deut
34:10; 1Cor 8:3). By the same token, Christ would also say to those that
displease him, “I do not know you” (25:12; Lk 13:25,27).
5a. On the surface, these people were zealously serving God, but
God was not pleased with them. To God, rebellion and disobedience is as evil as
witchcraft and idolatry (1Sam 15:23).
5b. While it is
important to accomplish much for God, we need to examine ourselves constantly
to see if our thoughts, speech, attitude, motive, and deeds are pleasing to God
(see 1Cor 9:27; 1Tim 4:16). We cannot use divine gifts as a measure of our
standing before God because they are given to accomplish God’s work rather than
to serve as a sign of
a person’s closeness with God. Instead of putting our confidence
in divine gifts, we must be obedient in every aspect of our lives in order to
6. They could
refer to any form of test that may come to a believer, including persecution
(13:21), cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches (13:22), and trial from
God (1Cor 3:13).
intellectual understanding of God’s word without diligence and self-discipline
cannot help us in times of trial. Spiritual maturity comes by constant training
(Heb 5:14). It is also in living out God’s word that
we and others around us can experience God’s power and blessings (Jas 1:22-25;
8. The Lord often
referred to Himself as the authority behind His teachings with the words “I
tell you….” He also calls the heavenly Father “my Father” (7:21). Not only so,
He claims that obedience to His words is necessary for entering God’s kingdom.
Jesus’ words also
carried divine power because God was with Him and worked with Him through the
Spirit (Lk 4:18; Acts 10:38).