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  Discovery Box

Matthew 7:13-27

Context
The Narrow Gate

7:13 “Enter through the narrow gate, because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 7:14 But the gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

A Tree and Its Fruit

7:15 “Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. 1  7:16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered 2  from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? 3  7:17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad 4  tree bears bad fruit. 7:18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 7:20 So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.

Judgment of Pretenders

7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ 5  will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 7:22 On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do 6  many powerful deeds?’ 7:23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’ 7 

Hearing and Doing

7:24 “Everyone 8  who hears these words of mine and does them is like 9  a wise man 10  who built his house on rock. 7:25 The rain fell, the flood 11  came, and the winds beat against that house, but it did not collapse because it had been founded on rock. 7:26 Everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 7:27 The rain fell, the flood came, and the winds beat against that house, and it collapsed; it was utterly destroyed!” 12 

1 sn Sheeps clothing…voracious wolves. Jesus uses a metaphor here to point out that these false prophets appear to be one thing, but in reality they are something quite different and dangerous.

2 tn Grk “They do not gather.” This has been simplified to the passive voice in the translation since the subject “they” is not specified further in the context.

3 sn The statement illustrates the principle: That which cannot produce fruit does not produce fruit.

4 tn Grk “rotten.” The word σαπρός, modifying “tree” in both v. 17 and 18, can also mean “diseased” (L&N 65.28).

5 sn The double use of the vocative is normally used in situations of high emotion or emphasis. Even an emphatic confession without action means little.

6 tn Grk “and in your name do.” This phrase was not repeated here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

7 tn Grk “workers of lawlessness.”

8 tn Grk “Therefore everyone.” Here οὖν (oun) has not been translated.

9 tn Grk “will be like.” The same phrase occurs in v. 26.

10 tn Here and in v. 26 the Greek text reads ἀνήρ (anhr), while the parallel account in Luke 6:47-49 uses ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo") in vv. 48 and 49.

11 tn Grk “the rivers.”

12 tn Grk “and great was its fall.”



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