First Things of Jesus

good lawyer


Certain sayings of our Lord are marked out as of special importance by the term “first.” They tell us some of the things that He set above all others. The word ‘first’ was used many times by our Lord. We will discuss some of those ‘firsts’ in this study. We will start with the most important one of all.



Matthew 6:33. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”

The kingdom of God is the most important attainments one can strive for in this life. Jesus says Matthew 16:26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

The priorities of an individual’s life are a window to his soul. Verbal assent may be given to many things that are soon forgotten, but we act upon those things that are really important to us. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have given up many of our prerogatives to Him. This being true, it becomes important to know the mind of Christ covering those things that should be first.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else. This positive command of Jesus comes immediately after He told them not to worry about food clothing and other things that would be supplied by God (Matthew 6:31). The disciples must not be anxious but must have as their primary concern God’s Kingdom and the upright lifestyle that accompanies it.

Putting God first in this way will result in God giving them all the food and clothing they need. The present seeking of Kingdom values is equivalent to living righteously in this world. They are to pray for the realization of God’s Kingdom and will on earth (Matthew 6:10). While the disciples’ needs may be met only partially during the present life (Matthew 5:3–10; 6:11), they will receive an abundant reward when the Kingdom comes in its fullness (Matthew 19:28–29).

The Father expects his children to put him first, but he delights to meet their needs. Disciples must not permit their needs to dominate their prayers, their thoughts, and their activities. Disciples must prioritize their allegiance to God, his rule, and his righteous standards.

In so doing they will receive all they need to eat and wear, as it were, as fringe benefits. But if they insist on prioritizing their own needs in their prayers and activities, they will never experience the joy of resting in the Father’s care and provision.



To harbor, ill-will can stop the flow of God’s love through us and greatly

hinder our testimony.

Matthew 5:23. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

24. Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first, be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”

Our Lord is telling us that, for our gift (offering, prayer, worship) to be accepted by Him, we must first make sure there are not any problems between us and our fellow men. If there is ‘ought’ (a small matter) between us and them, it must first be settled then come and worship, and pray, and give our gifts.

This is a high priority, one of the ‘first things’ in our relationship with God. Jesus also told us that answers to our prayers were dependant upon this principle also. Divine forgiveness is linked with human forgiveness (Matthew 6:12).

The first step toward reconciliation with an estranged brother is to pray; pray that God will intervene with you in your reconciliation. You are less likely to remember a problem of this kind as you commune with a pure holy God. Significantly the situation here does not pertain to one’s own anger but to the anger or grudge of another.

Disciples are thus responsible not only to reign in their own anger but to take steps to reconcile with others who are angry at them. It is not a question of arguing about who offended whom but of both offender and injured party taking responsibility for reconciliation.

The second step is to forgive him. When you forgive your brother, you release him and yourself to think more clearly and perhaps to see your own part, your own wrong in the matter. It is much easier to forgive than to be forgiven. One can take pride in forgiving but never in being forgiven.

The third step is to go to your brother and make peace. This is a privilege, for Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” (Matthew 5:9) The selfish spirit of today that neglects and even injures our brother is not of God. As God seeks to bring man back to oneness with Himself, He also seeks to bring man back into harmony with each other.



We are to first clean out our own eyes before trying to help our brother with his eyes.

Matthew 7:3. “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Jesus here refers to one’s fellow member of the community of disciples. The motivation provided by the warning of harsh divine judgment is here augmented by two rhetorical questions that stress the perverse tendency of humans to criticize in others what they excuse in themselves.

JEALOUSY will often cause a person to look for flaws in others.

Self-Righteousness. When one is inflicted with this terrible desire, he often is able to see even the smallest speck in his brother’s eye.

Pride will cause men to see things that are not really there.

Ambition has in it an ingredient that every Christian should avoid.

Hypocrite. Those who would see the mote in their brother’s eye and fail to see the beam in their own, Jesus called “hypocrites” or “actors” under the assumed character.”

THE BEAM: This brings us to the core of the Master’s Teaching. First cast out the beam. Before we can help our Brother, we must be able to see clearly with our own eyes.  Before we think or act to correct our Brother, we should first, Pray for ourselves, Ask for forgiveness for our own faults, Examine ourselves, Humble ourselves before God and others, Right the wrongs in our own lives.

Picturing one’s sin as a log in one’s eye stresses the inability of fallen human beings to render just judgment. How can someone whose vision is totally obscured by a log in his eye render a just assessment of another person’s minor vision problems that are due to a speck or splinter?

And how can the person with the log in his eye think that he is capable of rendering assistance in removing the speck from his brother’s eye? Jesus labels this absurd situation as hypocrisy and plainly states that judgment of others can be rendered justly only when one has first judged oneself.



All the weightier matters of the law have to do with the heart and attitude. All outward actions are of no value if they do not come from a pure heart.


Matthew 23:25. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

26. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

Jesus is saying, “Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness.” The scribes and Pharisees appeared to men as righteous, but their hearts were full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. For Jesus, the law must be obeyed from the heart. Outwardly lawful behavior may conceal a lawless heart. “You are so careful to clean the outside … but inside you are filthy.”


Men often are satisfied with a clean exterior because it makes them look good before their friends. We must go to the source of all good and evil (the heart) and there make things right. Proverbs 4:23. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Remember what Jesus said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Of all the Beatitudes this one is the most difficult to attain.


Much difficulty experienced by Christians stem from a carnal mind. Pride, malice, envy, strife, etc. are all the results of a carnal mind. First, the mind must be cleansed and then men can work out the problems

of life with little difficulty.

CLEANSE FIRST THE SPIRIT: In order to receive a cleansing of our spirit, we must enter into the closet of prayer and there commune with God until we are able to enter into the heavenly by the Spirit and be baptized in the Spirit of Christ. Only then can we mirror the image of Christ in our spirit and life on earth.

Here are some other firsts that Jesus Talked about.

Matthew 12:29; First bind the strong man   Mark 3:27

Matthew 13:30, First gather the tares

Matthew 19:30, Matthew 20:16, the first shall be last

Matthew 22:34-38; Mark 12:28, The first and greatest commandment.

Matthew 23:26, Cleanse first the inside of the cup

Mark 7:27, Let the children first be filled

Mark 9:35. the desire to be first

Mark 13:13, The Gospel must first be preached among all nations

Luke 10:5,  Enter the first house and say peace be to thee

Luke 14:28,-31 First count the cost

Luke 17:25,  The Son of Man must first suffer many things

Luke 21:9,  Many things must first come to pass

John 8:7, Those without sin be first to cast a stone.

By, James L. Thornton


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