Matthew 7:21–23 – “More than What I Do?” – J. P. Kang
1. Jesus is here judging false prophets (the passage starts in verse 15), whose impressive words and actions proceeded from an unredeemed being. We tend to judge ourselves by our words and actions (external things), and that judgment usually depends on how well we did the last thing. So how can we focus instead on our inner selves and thereby begin to escape that relentless and superficial feedback cycle?
2. How do you learn the will of God (verse 21)? What does Psalm 1 teach us in this regard: “Happy are those … whose delight is in the law of the LORD” (verses 1–2)? And once you have learned what God’s desire is, how do you keep the horse (being) in front of the cart (doing)?
3. Both Psalm 1 (“[The righteous] are like trees … which yield their fruit in season,” verse 3) and Matthew 7 (people are known “by their fruits,” verses 16 and 20) emphasize the relationship between righteousness and genuine good fruit. How can we test for god-looking yet counterfeit fruit? What does Matthew 22:36–40 suggest as a reliable test?