While reading through the Gospel of Matthew today, some verses stood out, so I’ll share my notes with you.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Matthew 5:23-24 (NIV)

These are some intriguing instructions from the Lord because they are counter to how we would do things. We might think that if we had something against someone, we would have to stop what we’re doing and reconcile with that person. However, Jesus tells us if someone has something against us, we should stop what we’re doing and be reconciled to that person.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘ Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”

Matthew 6:9 (NIV)

In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus tells his disciples how to pray. However, Jesus isn’t telling them this is the only way to pray; whenever they pray, they have to use these words. Instead, the Lord’s prayer is a model for how we should approach the Lord in prayer. If this were the only way to pray, and we only prayed these words when we prayed, what did Jesus pray when he spent hours in prayer?

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)

Here, Jesus is warning us about being self-righteous. If Jesus were telling us not to judge others, he wouldn’t have followed up with the example in these verses.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

It’s easy to see flaws in other people, but when we are reminded that we aren’t perfect and we’re called to correct ourselves before judging others, it goes a long way to reducing our hypocrisy.

These are my notes for today. Thanks for stopping by!