Week 1: Matthew 7:1-5


Life Group Questions: (adapted from Accidental Pharisees book)

  1. What are some areas of your life that you are most prone to compare yourself to others?
  2. Are there times you are inclined to use the Bible as binoculars instead of a mirror?
  3. Can you think of a time in your life when you were especially zealous for something only to discover later that your zeal didn’t line up with facts?
  4. Can you think of a time when you felt zealous for something in your spiritual life, only to find out it didn’t line up with Scripture?
  5. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were champions of self-discipline, personal sacrifice, and rigid morality. Imagine you were alive back then. How do you think you would have responded to their spiritual passion? How would you have been inclined to look at them, be intimidated by them, be repelled by them, or perhaps have some other response? Why or why not?
  6. If you could pick just one insight to put into practice this week, what would it be?


Sermon Notes and Scripture

Somewhere along the way the good start and the good ambition lost its heart… the Pharisees traded a relationship with God to a religion about God based on their moral performance. And ultimately, they lost sight of what God desired for them. They stopped looking in the mirror and started looking at the faults of others.



1. Understanding the curse of comparison.  (1-2)

“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

2. Understand our common brokenness. (3-4)

“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? –Matthew 7:3-4

22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.  – James 1:22-24


1. Understand the simple solution. (5)

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 7:5


1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You. – Psalm 51:1-13



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