According to Matthew 7:1-29

7  “Stop judging+ that you may not be judged;+  for with the judgment you are judging, you will be judged,+ and with the measure that you are measuring out, they will measure out to you.+  Why, then, do you look at the straw in your brother’s eye but do not notice the rafter in your own eye?+  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Allow me to remove the straw from your eye,’ when look! a rafter is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the rafter from your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to remove the straw from your brother’s eye.  “Do not give what is holy to dogs nor throw your pearls before swine,+ so that they may never trample them under their feet and turn around and rip you open.+  “Keep on asking, and it will be given you;+ keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you;+  for everyone asking receives,+ and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking, it will be opened.  Indeed, which one of you, if his son asks for bread, will hand him a stone? 10  Or if he asks for a fish, he will not hand him a serpent, will he? 11  Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will your Father who is in the heavens give good things+ to those asking him!+ 12  “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them.+ This, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean.+ 13  “Go in through the narrow gate,+ because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14  whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.+ 15  “Be on the watch for the false prophets+ who come to you in sheep’s covering,+ but inside they are ravenous wolves.+ 16  By their fruits you will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they?+ 17  Likewise, every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit.+ 18  A good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, nor can a rotten tree produce fine fruit.+ 19  Every tree not producing fine fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.+ 20  Really, then, by their fruits you will recognize those men.+ 21  “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.+ 22  Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord,+ did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works* in your name?’+ 23  And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew* you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’+ 24  “Therefore, everyone who hears these sayings of mine and does them will be like a discreet man who built his house on the rock.+ 25  And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and lashed against that house, but it did not cave in, for it had been founded on the rock. 26  Furthermore, everyone hearing these sayings of mine and not doing them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.+ 27  And the rain poured down and the floods came and the winds blew and struck against that house,+ and it caved in, and its collapse was great.” 28  When Jesus finished these sayings, the effect was that the crowds were astounded at his way of teaching,+ 29  for he was teaching them as a person having authority,+ and not as their scribes.


Or “many miracles.”
Or “recognized.”

Study Notes

Stop judging: Or “Stop condemning.” Jesus was aware that imperfect humans tend to be judgmental and that many Pharisees of his day set a bad example in this. They judged harshly those who did not live by the Mosaic Law and those who did not follow the unscriptural traditions that the Pharisees promoted. Jesus commanded any who had the habit of judging others to stop it. Instead of continually finding fault, disciples of Jesus should “keep on forgiving” the shortcomings of their fellow man. By doing so, they encourage others to show the same forgiving attitude.​—See study note on Lu 6:37.

straw . . . rafter: Jesus here uses striking hyperbole to describe a person who is critical of his brother. He compares a minor flaw to something small like a “straw.” The Greek word karʹphos can refer not only to a “straw” but also to a small piece of wood, so other Bibles render it a “splinter,” or a “speck of sawdust.” The critic implies that his brother’s spiritual vision, including his moral perception and judgment, is defective. By offering to “remove the straw,” he proudly asserts that he is qualified to help his brother see things more clearly and to judge matters correctly. Jesus, however, says that the critic’s own spiritual vision and judgment are impaired by a symbolic “rafter,” a log or beam that might be used to support a roof. (Mt 7:4, 5) Some suggest that this powerful, even humorous contrast, indicates that Jesus was familiar with the work done in a carpenter’s shop.

your brother’s: In this context, the Greek word a·del·phosʹ (brother) refers to a spiritual relationship and denotes a fellow worshipper of God. In a general sense, the term could also refer to one’s fellow man.​—See study note on Mt 5:23.

Hypocrite!: At Mt 6:2, 5, 16, Jesus applied this term to the Jewish religious leaders, but here he uses it to address any disciple who fixes his attention on another’s faults while ignoring his own.

give what is holy to dogs . . . throw your pearls before swine: According to the Mosaic Law, pigs and dogs were unclean. (Le 11:7, 27) It was permissible to throw to dogs the flesh of an animal killed by a wild beast. (Ex 22:31) But Jewish tradition forbade giving to dogs “holy flesh,” that is, meat of animal sacrifices. At Mt 7:6, the expressions “dogs” and “swine” are used figuratively of people who do not value spiritual treasures. Just as swine have no appreciation of the value of pearls, individuals who do not value spiritual treasures may abuse the one sharing them.

Keep on asking, . . . seeking, . . . knocking: The rendering “keep on” expresses the continuous action indicated by the Greek verb form used here and shows the need for perseverance in prayer. The use of three verbs indicates intensity. Jesus makes a similar point in his illustration at Lu 11:5-8.

bread . . . stone: Jesus may have contrasted bread with stones because bread was a staple in the diet of the Jews and surrounding peoples and the size and shape of loaves could have reminded people of stones. The answer to Jesus’ rhetorical question is: “It would be unthinkable for a father to do such a thing.”​—See study note on Mt 7:10.

fish . . . serpent: Fish was a staple in the diet of people living around the Sea of Galilee. Some small serpents may have looked like the fish that were often eaten with bread. The rhetorical question implies that it would be unthinkable for a loving parent to do such a thing.

you, although being wicked: Because of inherited sin, all humans are imperfect and, consequently, comparatively wicked.

how much more so: Jesus often used this line of reasoning. First he presents an obvious fact or a familiar truth, and then he draws an even more convincing conclusion based on that fact, arguing from the lesser to the greater.​—Mt 10:25; 12:12; Lu 11:13; 12:28.

the Law and the Prophets: See study note on Mt 5:17.

Go in through the narrow gate: In ancient times, roadways with gates were the means of entry into walled cities. The Bible uses such expressions as road or “path” or “way” to describe people’s life course and conduct. The image of two contrasting roads pictures life courses that are either approved or disapproved by God, determining whether an individual gains entry into God’s Kingdom.​—Ps 1:1, 6; Jer 21:8; Mt 7:21.

broad is the gate and spacious is the road: Although some manuscripts read “broad and spacious is the road,” the longer reading has strong manuscript support and harmonizes with the parallelism at Mt 7:14.​—See App. A3.

in sheep’s covering: Or “in sheep’s clothing,” that is, disguised in figurative garments and exhibiting sheeplike qualities in order to give the impression of being a harmless member of God’s “flock” of worshippers.

ravenous wolves: A metaphor describing those who are extremely covetous and who exploit others for personal gain.

fruits: Here used figuratively of people’s works, their words, or the results of what they do and say.

lawlessness: See study note on Mt 24:12.

discreet: See study note on Mt 24:45.

rain . . . floods . . . winds: Sudden winter storms are not uncommon in Israel (especially during the month of Tebeth, that is, December/January), bringing high winds, torrential rains, and destructive flash floods.​—See App. B15.

were astounded: The Greek verb used here can be defined “to be filled with amazement to the point of being overwhelmed.” The continuous verb form implies that his words had a lasting effect on the crowds.

his way of teaching: This expression refers to how Jesus taught, his teaching methods, which included what he taught, the whole body of instruction in the Sermon on the Mount.

not as their scribes: Rather than quote revered rabbis as an authority, as was the scribes’ custom, Jesus speaks as Jehovah’s representative, as a person having authority, basing his teachings on God’s Word.​—Joh 7:16.



The wolves (Canis lupus) of Israel are primarily nighttime predators. (Hab 1:8) Wolves are fierce, voracious, bold, and greedy, frequently killing more sheep than they can eat or drag away. In the Bible, animals and their characteristics and habits are often applied in a figurative sense, picturing both desirable and undesirable traits. For example, in Jacob’s deathbed prophecy, the tribe of Benjamin is described figuratively as a fighter like a wolf. (Ge 49:27) But in most occurrences, the wolf is used to picture such undesirable qualities as ferocity, greed, viciousness, and craftiness. Those compared to wolves include false prophets (Mt 7:15), vicious opposers of the Christian ministry (Mt 10:16; Lu 10:3), and false teachers who would endanger the Christian congregation from within (Ac 20:29, 30). Shepherds were well-aware of the danger posed by wolves. Jesus spoke of “the hired man” who “sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and flees.” Unlike the hired man, who “does not care for the sheep,” Jesus is “the fine shepherd,” who surrendered “his life in behalf of the sheep.”—Joh 10:11-13.

Fig Tree, Grapevine, and Thornbush
Fig Tree, Grapevine, and Thornbush

Jesus no doubt carefully selected the plants he used in illustrations. For example, the fig tree (1) and the grapevine (2) are mentioned jointly in many texts, and Jesus’ words at Lu 13:6 show that fig trees were often planted in vineyards. (2Ki 18:31; Joe 2:22) The expression ‘sitting under one’s own vine and fig tree’ symbolized peaceful, prosperous, secure conditions. (1Ki 4:25; Mic 4:4; Zec 3:10) By contrast, thorns and thistles are specifically mentioned when Jehovah cursed the ground after Adam sinned. (Ge 3:17, 18) The type of thornbush that Jesus referred to at Mt 7:16 cannot be identified with certainty, but the one shown here (Centaurea iberica) (3), a type of thistle, grows wild in Israel.