Summary: This is one sermon from a survey through Matthew looking for the questions Jesus asked and His answers we need.
Excuse Me, But You Have a Piece Of
Broccoli in Your Teeth
Matthew 7 NKJV
Have you ever sat at the dinner table with someone having that enjoyable conversation, and you notice they have something in their teeth, I have and I have found it becomes difficult to concentrate on the conversation until the person either realizes there is something undesirable showing or I have to interrupt the conversation and simply say, “Excuse Me, But You Have a Piece Of
Broccoli in Your Teeth.” I can think a few times that I was the one told I had something caught in-between my teeth. It’s a bit embarrassing but you simply say, “Oh, thank you for telling me”; and you attempt to fix the problem, you ask is it gone, and then resume the conversation.
But what if the person who points out the broccoli is someone who eats with their mouth open? You know you want to retort back snidely, “Well I wish you’d eat with your mouth closed!”
That is a little different scenario from what Jesus said in the 7th chapter of Matthew which has far greater consequences. There he asks us a question we need to know the answer to. It is a life principle that dives deep under the skin, penetrating to the bone and morrow of the spiritual realm, to which we wage our war against sin and corruption on all levels of life, society, culture, religion, character and morality.
It is a challenge; a line Jesus drew in the sand if we, His Church and His Children, are to effectively influence the world we are called to minister to; if we are to have any hope of fixing the mess we are in.
America is in much need of revival, the world is in need of revival. I am in need of revival; the church is in need of revival! Not a few days set on the calendar when we have a visiting preacher come share some fiery messages, but a heart changed for the purpose of winning lost people and a church that is serious about teaching the ‘Observe All things I have taught you.” part of the Great Commission with an effectiveness that can only come for those who have gotten honest with themselves and dealt with the sin that hinders the witness God has called us to give.
See, what hinders this work the church is commissioned to do more than any other is that we have broccoli in our teeth. Or Jesus said it better this way:
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
I want to apply this text in at least three ways for us tonight. First for the individual; second for the church, and lastly look at the importance of it to the world we see in turmoil.
In the few verses I skipped there is a verse which might have been one of the first verses we memorized as children in Sunday school. 12 “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
We know this as the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them to do to you.
We want to be told if there is something embarrassing about our appearance; food in our teeth, a bra strap showing, a sipper down, hair out of place. Etc. and most of us are willing to tell a friend if something is embarrassingly out of place before they would be seen in or by the public. But Jesus is dealing here with something of must greater importance than ascetics or impressions.
He is talking about not just knowing the difference between right and wrong but doing what is right because; seeing the right and seeing the wrong and choosing the right is what matters if we are to be effective in helping anyone else and working out our own salvation with fear and trembling.