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What Did Jesus Say about Spiritual Discernment (14 of 15)
WWJD: The Series
Matthew 7:13-23 (NIV) "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. 15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
Many commentators suggest that the main body of the Sermon is now over, and that verse 13 ushers in the application and conclusion. Certainly Jesus emphasizes more strongly than before the necessity of choice.
It is hardly necessary to comment that almost any discussion about choice makes some people very uncomfortable. It is extremely unfashionable. People like to be uncommitted. Every opinion poll allows for not only a 'yes' or 'no' answer, but for a convenient 'don't know'. To deviate from the middle is to risk being labeled an 'extremist' or a 'fanatic'. Everybody resents being faced with the necessity of a choice. But Jesus will not allow us to escape it.
Discernment: to separate 1. (a thing) mentally from another or others; recognize as separ ...
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