December 16th – Matthew 7:13-23

Spend some time meditating on how Jesus defines Himself. Then, come back and read the commentary, my verse, and my response to God.

  • Request God’s help.
  • Read Matthew 7:13-23
  • Record a verse that stands out to you.
  • Respond to God.

Come back and read the commentary when you’re done…

Have you ever lost your way? Not knowing which way to go to get to your destination is frustrating at best and scary at worst. Thankfully, Jesus leaves us no doubt. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The contrast between verses 13 and 14 is clear. Wide is the way that leads to destruction, and narrow is the way that leads to life. I find this an immense relief. Thank you, Lord Jesus!

Mercifully, verse fifteen reveals the perils of the wide gate. False teachers are dressed in their finest sheep costumes, hoping to lead people away from the narrow gate that leads to life. I love the phrase, “You will know them by their fruits…” In other words, they won’t offer you anything that satisfies you, and they will be motivated by all the wrong things.

Have you noticed how Jesus uses the things around Him to make His point? There are sheep gates where the animals find safety and wide-open wilderness where they will get devoured. There are trees with abundant and nourishing fruit and trees that are barren. In the same way, there is Jesus, the only way to the Father; there are teachers who have the Holy Spirit (Jesus in them), and there are teachers who don’t. The fruit spoken of here is genuine, Christ-like love. A person who does not have the Spirit of God is incapable of love. In contrast, their motives are self-seeking, and they do not have your best interest in mind.

How can you distinguish a false teacher from someone who loves the Lord?

My Verse: Matthew 7:22-23 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”

My Response: What a terrifying truth. Jesus is referring to people who call themselves followers of God. Yet, they bear no fruit. They lead people astray. Unfortunately, I have personal experience with such a man. A religious leader who “cast out demons” in the name of Jesus. However, he was unloving, encouraged people to leave their spouses, and regularly asked for money. I cringe thinking of his encounter with God at the final judgment.

Father, thank you for saving me from my sin and false teachers. Jesus, You are the only way to the Father. Thank you for shedding Your blood, making a way for me to be forgiven, and ushering me into the Holy of Holies in Christ. Amen.


1 Comment. Leave new

  • Matthew 7:23 “But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s law.”

    Lord, I love the value You place on us knowing You. Good deeds done in isolation — with no desire to do them for and with You, to show others who You are — do not impress. Your greatest command is that we love You!! And if we love You, we’ll draw near to You and know You. Thank You, Lord, for making Your desire for relationship with us so clear. ( … and it’s the reason for the Sweet Selah slogan, too. “Taking time to know God and love Him more and more” — may it be so, Lord Jesus!)


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