Matthew 7:5

This is kindred to judging, and so these are here closely associated. The Duty of reproving should be discharged with discretion.


1. Reproof is a precious and holy thing.

(1) So it is described (ver. 6). The snuffers in the sanctuary were of pure gold (see also Psalm 141:5; Proverbs 3:18; Proverbs 25:12).

(2) It is sanctioned by the holiest examples. Moses; the prophets; Christ.

(3) It serves holy uses.

(a) Saves souls from death (see James 5:19, 20).

(b) Frees our souls from the guilt of complicity (see Leviticus 19:17, margin).

(c) Leaves the sinner without excuse. So the fidelity of Noah condemned the antediluvians (Hebrews 11:7).

2. The office of reprover should not be lightly undertaken.

(1) We are naturally too prone to attempt to set others right. Envy and malice give us piercing vision to discern motes in their eves.

(2) Blindness to our own faults proves us disqualified to cure those of others. Reproof is too often an attempt to depreciate the reproved that the reprover may be better thought of.

(3) It is hypocrisy to pretend zeal for the amendment of others while we have none for our own. Since the prerogative to reprove is with the saint, hypocrites reprove to simulate the saint.

(4) To correct error in another requires moral principle as well as intellectual discernment. Sin destroys spiritual vision. In overlooking this parents err in correcting their children. The truly righteous are the most merciful.

(5) Our badness must not excuse us from reproving. Rendering us unfit to reprove, it does not release us from the obligation to become fit. "A man's offence can never become his defence."


1. They are described as dogs and swine.

(1) Some, like the dog, are pronouncedly unclean. The dog does not part the hoof. He makes no profession of a clean walk. Neither does he chew the cud. lie does not ruminate upon spiritual things.

(2) Some profess to be better than they are., The hog parts the hoof. Here is the profession of a clean walk. But then he does not chew the cud. He is filthy in the thoughts and intents of the heart. Note:

(3) The hog is no less abominable than the dog. False-faced sinners are the more offensive.

2. Their dispositions are brutish.

(1) They would trample upon pearls. The ungodly see no more beauty in holiness than the hog sees in a gem.

(2) They would turn again and rend you. The more refined are your tastes and dispositions the more intensely will the wicked hate you, and the more viciously will they treat you.

3. Let tide incorrigible alone.

(1) "Give not that which is holy." The allusion is to the holy things of the sanctuary. These were things which had touched the altar and were of the nature of sacrifice.

(2) Such things were never intended for dogs. They were eaten by the priests and Levites. The gospel is the "children's bread." There is no gospel for the impenitent.

(3) Our respect for Christ should lead us to preach repentance first rather than faith to the wicked. Resentment against reproof is the sign of an unclean nature.

(4) We are not needlessly to hazard our lives in reproving the wicked. The hog will mistake the pearl of reproof for the stone of reproach (see Jeremiah 6:10; Luke 11:45). He will "turn again" in resentment. So Herod turned upon the Baptist.

(5) Our time may be better employed in preaching to those who will hear (see Acts 13:41).


1. There are degrees in sin - the mote as compared with the beam.

2. There are those who have the beam in the eye, but do not consider it. They justify their enormities by pleading that "others do worse."

3. He is no enemy to sin who does not hate it in himself.

4. Let reproof begin at home.

5. Let the severity of our reproving be restrained by consideration of our own frailty. - J.A.M.

The mote that is in thy brother's eye.
I. That sin may exist in man to an enormous extent, and YET HE BE UNCONSCIOUS OF IT — "the beam." Several things tend to produce this unconsciousness.

1. Habit.

2. Association.

3. Satanic agency.

II. That however unconscious of our own sins, WE MAY BE ALIVE TO THE SINS OF OTHERS.

1. Sin does not destroy the faculty for discerning moral distinctions.

2. The importance of Christians being circumspect in their conduct.


(Dr. David Thomas.)

At Wragby, in Yorkshire, in the vestry of the church is a very curious old painted window, representing in coloured glass the subject of my text; a man with a huge piece of wood before his eyes is trying diligently to extract a mere speck from the eye of another man. And this picture is most appropriately placed in the vestry, as it reminds the priest, whose ministry it is to declare to the people their faults and sins, that he should closely examine himself, lest, after he has preached to others, he himself should be a cast-away.

(Baring Gould, M. A.)

I have got a piece of plate, probably two hundred years old, for the table at meal time. On the silver is embossed a representation of the mote and the beam; a man with a spiked log sticking into his eye is trying hard to pick a tiny grain out of the eye of another. Perhaps you may think it most inappropriate to have such a group and subject on a piece of plate before one's eyes commonly. But I do not think so. It is when families meet, or guests assemble round the board, that the characters of neighbours are most freely talked over.

(Baring Gould, M. A.)

It is only when we have wrestled with and overcome our own besetting sins, that we have the insight and tact to direct others how to overcome theirs. Massillon, the great French preacher, was once asked where he obtained his profound knowledge of the world and of the human passions, and his skill in solving religious difficulties. "From my own heart," he replied. In his endeavours after personal holiness he had met and vanquished, one by one, those bosom sins which trouble men. Their false excuses, their specious pretences, their conflicts with temptation, their weak submission to vices which they have vowed to forsake, their remorse, their fears — he knew them all from experience, and he described them as one who knew. Hence the convicting pungency of his preaching, by which the careless courtiers of Versailles were impressed, and to which Louis XIV. himself bore witness. At the close of a sermon the king said to him, "I have heard several great orators, and been very much pleased with them; but every time I have heard you I have been very much displeased with myself." The ability to minister to others is acquired through faithful self-treatment.

Before thou reprehend another, take heed that thou art not culpable in what thou goest about to reprehend. He that cleanses a blot with blurred fingers will make a greater blot. E yen the candle-snuffers of the sanctuary were of pure gold.

(Quarles.)Nowadays men take upon themselves to reprove others for committing such things as themselves do practise without amendment. Therefore these are like some tailors, who are busy in decking and tricking up others, but go both bare and beggarly themselves.

(Henry Smith.)If my carriage be unblamable, my counsel and reproof will be the more acceptable. Wholesome meat often is distasteful, coming out of nasty hands. A bad liver cannot be a good counsellor or bold reprover; such a man must speak softly for fear of awaking his own guilty conscience. If the bell be cracked, the sound must needs be jarring.

(Swinnock.)The vicious reproving vice, is the raven chiding blackness.

(Eliza Cook.)

Easy and ordinary is it for men to be others' physicians, rather than their own. They can weed others' gardens, whiles their own is overrun with nettles. But charity begins at home; and he that loves not his own soul, I will hardly trust him with mine. The usurer blames his son's pride, sees not his own extortion; and whiles the hypocrite is helping the dissolute out of the mire, he sticks in deeper himself. No marvel if, when we fix both our eyes on others' wants, we lack a third to see our own. If two blind men rush one upon another in the way, either complains of other's blindness, neither of his own. Thus, like mannerly guests, when a good morsel is carved us, we lay it liberally on another's trencher, and fast ourselves. How much better were it for us to feed on our own portion!


Beam, Bit, Brother, Brother's, Cast, Clearly, Dust, Eye, Grain, Hypocrite, Log, Mote, Plank, Remove, Speck, Splinter, Wilt, Wood
1. Do Not Judge
7. Ask, Seek, Knock
13. Enter through the Narrow Gate
15. A Tree and Its Fruit
24. The Wise and the Foolish Builders
28. Jesus ends his sermon, and the people are astonished.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 7:5

     8478   self-examination
     8767   hypocrisy

Matthew 7:1-5

     1660   Sermon on the Mount
     5821   criticism, among believers

Matthew 7:3-5

     5661   brothers

Matthew 7:4-5

     5879   humiliation

Matthew 7:5-6

     2357   Christ, parables

November 22. "Cast the Beam Out of Thine Own Eye" (Matt. vii. 5).
"Cast the beam out of thine own eye" (Matt. vii. 5). Greater than the fault you condemn and criticise is the sin of criticism and condemnation. There is no place we need such grace as in dealing with an erring one. A lady once called on us on her way to give an erring sister a piece of her mind. We advised her to wait until she could love her a little more. Only He who loved sinners well enough to die for them can deal with the erring. We never see all the heart. He does, and He can convict without
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

January 12. "Ask and it Shall be Given You" (Matt. vii. 7).
"Ask and it shall be given you" (Matt. vii. 7). We must receive, as well as ask. We must take the place of believing, and recognize ourselves as in it. A friend was saying, "I want to get into the will of God," and this was the answer: "Will you step into the will of God? And now, are you in the will of God?" The question aroused a thought that had not come before. The gentleman saw that he had been straining after, but not receiving the blessing he sought. Jesus has said, "Ask and ye shall receive."
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Judging, Asking, and Giving
'Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye! 5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Two Paths
'Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.'--MATT. vii. 13-14. A frank statement of the hardships and difficulties involved in a course of conduct does not seem a very likely way to induce men to adopt it, but it often proves so. There is something in human nature which responds to the bracing
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Two Houses
'Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock.... 25. And every one that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.'--Matt. vii. 24, 25. Our Lord closes the so-called Sermon on the Mount, which is really the King's proclamation of the law of His Kingdom, with three pairs of contrasts, all meant to sway us to obedience. The first
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Christ of the Sermon on the Mount
'And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at His doctrine: 29. For He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.'--MATT. vii. 28-29. It appears, then, from these words, that the first impression made on the masses by the Sermon on the Mount was not so much an appreciation of its high morality, as a feeling of the personal authority with which Christ spoke. Had the scribes, then, no authority? They ruled the whole life of the nation with
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. vii. 7, "Ask, and it Shall be Given You;" Etc. An Exhortation to Alms-Deeds.
1. In the lesson of the Holy Gospel the Lord hath exhorted us to prayer. "Ask," saith He, "and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? [2135] Or if he ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? [2136] If ye then,"
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

Known by their Fruits.
(Eighth Sunday after Trinity.) S. MATT. vii. 16. "Ye shall know them by their fruits." The religion of Jesus Christ is one of deeds, not words; a life of action, not of dreaming. Our Lord warns us to beware of any form of religion, in ourselves or others, which does not bring forth good fruit. God does not look for the leaves of profession, or the blossoms of promise, He looks for fruit unto holiness. We may profess to believe in Jesus Christ, we may say the Creed without a mistake, we may read
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

Casting Blame.
8th Sunday after Trinity. S. Matt. vii. 15. "Inwardly they are ravening wolves." INTRODUCTION.--A Schoolmaster finds one day that several of his scholars are playing truant. The morning passes and they do not arrive. At last, in the afternoon, the truants turn up. The master has a strong suspicion where they have been: however, he asks, "Why were you not at school this morning?" "Please, sir, mother kept me at home to mind the baby." "Indeed--let me look at your mouth." He opens the mouth,
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

False Prophets
(Eighth Sunday after Trinity.) Matthew vii. 16. Ye shall know them by their fruits. People are apt to overlook, I think, the real meaning of these words. They do so, because they part them from the words which go just before them, about false prophets. They consider that 'fruit' means only a man's conduct,--that a man is known by his conduct. That professions are worth nothing, and practice worth everything. That the good man, after all, is the man who does right; and the bad man, the man who
Charles Kingsley—Town and Country Sermons

A Man Expects to Reap the Same Kind as He Sows.
"Herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit . . . after his kind."--Gen. i: 12. "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"--Matt. vii: 16. "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." --Romans viii: 13. A Man Expects to Reap the Same Kind as He Sows. If I should tell you that I sowed ten acres of wheat last year and that watermelons came up, or that I sowed cucumbers and gathered
Dwight L. Moody—Sowing and Reaping

The Mote and the Beam
That friend of ours has got something in his eye! Though it is only something tiny--what Jesus called a mote--how painful it is and how helpless he is until it is removed! It is surely our part as a friend to do all we can to remove it, and how grateful he is to us when we have succeeded in doing so. We should be equally grateful to him, if he did the same service for us. In the light of that, it seems clear that the real point of the well-known passage in Matthew 7:3-5 about the beam and the mote
Roy Hession and Revel Hession—The Calvary Road

Doctrine of Non-Resistance to Evil by Force must Inevitably be Accepted by Men of the Present Day.
Christianity is Not a System of Rules, but a New Conception of Life, and therefore it was Not Obligatory and was Not Accepted in its True Significance by All, but only by a Few--Christianity is, Moreover, Prophetic of the Destruction of the Pagan Life, and therefore of Necessity of the Acceptance of the Christian Doctrines--Non-resistance of Evil by Force is One Aspect of the Christian Doctrine, which must Inevitably in Our Times be Accepted by Men--Two Methods of Deciding Every Quarrel--First Method
Leo Tolstoy—The Kingdom of God is within you

Fifth Lesson. Ask, and it Shall be Given You;
Ask, and it shall be given you; Or, The Certainty of the Answer to Prayer. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened,'--Matt. vii. 7, 8. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss.'--Jas. iv. 3. OUR Lord returns here in the Sermon on the Mount a second time to speak of prayer. The first time He had spoken of the Father who is
Andrew Murray—With Christ in the School of Prayer

Sixth Lesson. How Much More?'
How much more?' Or, The Infinite Fatherliness of God. Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone; or if he shall ask for a fish, will give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?'--Matt. vii. 9-11 IN these words our Lord proceeds further to confirm what He had said of the certainty of an answer to prayer. To remove
Andrew Murray—With Christ in the School of Prayer

The Beggar. Mt 7:7-8

John Newton—Olney Hymns

Here Again Arises a Very Difficult Question. For in what Way Shall we Fools...
28. Here again arises a very difficult question. For in what way shall we fools be able to find a wise man, whereas this name, although hardly any one dare openly, yet most men lay claim to indirectly: so disagreeing one with another in the very matters, in the knowledge of which wisdom consists, as that it must needs be that either none of them, or but some certain one be wise? But when the fool enquires, who is that wise man? I do not at all see, in what way he can be distinguished and perceived.
St. Augustine—On the Profit of Believing.

Asking, Seeking, Finding. --Matt. vii. 7, 8
Asking, Seeking, Finding.--Matt. vii. 7, 8. Ask, and ye shall receive; On this my hope I build: I ask forgiveness, and believe My prayer shall be fulfill'd. Seek, and expect to find: Wounded to death in soul, I seek the Saviour of mankind; His touch can make me whole. Knock, and with patience wait, Faith shall free entrance win: I stand and knock at mercy's gate; Lord Jesus! let me in. How should I ask in vain? Seek, and not find Thee, Lord? Knock, and yet no admittance gain? Is it not in Thy
James Montgomery—Sacred Poems and Hymns

Assurance and Encouragement. --Matt. vii. 7, 8
Assurance and Encouragement.--Matt. vii. 7, 8. While these commands endure, These promises are sure; And 'tis an easy task To knock, to seek, to ask: Sinner hast thou the willing mind? Saint, art thou thus inclined? Dost thou expect, desire, believe? Then knock and enter, seek and find, Ask and receive.
James Montgomery—Sacred Poems and Hymns

The Strait Gate;
OR, GREAT DIFFICULTY OF GOING TO HEAVEN: PLAINLY PROVING, BY THE SCRIPTURES, THAT NOT ONLY THE RUDE AND PROFANE, BUT MANY GREAT PROFESSORS, WILL COME SHORT OF THAT KINGDOM. "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."--Matthew 7:13, 14 ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR. If any uninspired writer has been
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Parting Counsels
'And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23. Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. 25. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

Author's Preface.
I did not write this little work with the thought of its being given to the public. It was prepared for the help of a few Christians who were desirous of loving God with the whole heart. But so many have requested copies of it, because of the benefit they have derived from its perusal, that I have been asked to publish it. I have left it in its natural simplicity. I do not condemn the opinions of any: on the contrary, I esteem those which are held by others, and submit all that I have written to
Jeanne Marie Bouvières—A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents

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