Matt 7.1-14 – Judge not, jerk

 (7.1) Beware the temptation to manipulate others by acting like you are better than them. (2) When you do, you’re just teaching people how they should treat you. (3) While you’re busy offering “helpful advice” to your neighbor on how to get the speck of sawdust out of his eye, (4) you have a whole log stuck in your own eye. (5) Listen, poser… Go deal with your log.  Once you become a clear-sighted person, your neighbor might even ask you for help with his speck.  Until then, mind your own business.  (6) When he asks for help, that means he’s ready to receive help.  But until then, even good advice is as useful to him as a Bible is to a dog.  Pearls are useless and annoying to pigs.  So too are pearls of wisdom to people who haven’t asked for them.

(7) After all, that’s how free, distinct-but-not-separate persons relate – We ASK things of one another; we make REQUESTS. You know how it works:  You ask somebody for something, and then they give it to you.  You knock on the door, and then someone opens it. (8) This is not rocket science.  If you want something, ask for it.  If you want to find something, look for it.  If you want a door opened, knock on it.  We relate to our Papa in the same way.  (9) Think about your own kids.  When your kid asks for a snack, do you give him a rock? (10) Or if he asks for a cheeseburger, do you give him a snake?  Of course not!  (11) You’re not exactly a star in the sainthood department, but even YOU know how to give good things to your kids.  How much more will your Papa, who sits in the driver’s seat of the universe, give to her kids the good things they ask her for! (12) In all your dealings with people, treat them this way, the way you yourself want to be treated.  That is Scripture’s wisdom in a nutshell.

(13) There is only one Triune life of love, but there are a thousand ways to avoid it, to participate less than fully in it.  These paths are easy; that’s why most people take them.  The destruction that is coming on this generation will be the result of the easy paths they choose. (14) There is only one path that escapes that destruction, and it is hard, very hard.  It is the way of peace and truth and forgiveness, the way of the Triune life in this world.  Only a few are walking that road.  Be one of them.


  1. Ron says:

    This is all just very wrong. Your “paraphrase” reminds me of Eugene Peterson’s work in the “Message:” not a paraphrase but a complete re-writing of Scripture, based on a lack of respect of what God has said. The Bible is not “outdated” and so unclear that it needs your radical revision.

  2. Lanny r. carlson says:

    Excellent paraphrase! Keep up the good, inspired work.

    1. Hey Lanny, thanks for the kind word! The sermon on the mount was one of my most enjoyable pieces of this project.

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