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Judge Not


Matthew 7: 1-5

I don’t know if you realize it or not but this passage and especially verse 1 is one of the most unique passages in all the Bible.

Some use this passage to justify not making any judgments at all when it comes to people and their character, and their conduct.

And some say this forbids a Christian from ever sitting on a jury in a court of law.

Well, to help us understand what Jesus is saying here we must go back to Matthew 5:20.

So, what were the scribes and Pharisees doing? Turn to Luke 7:36:

36 Now one of the Pharisees was requesting Him to dine with him. And He entered the Pharisee’s house, and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet, and anointing them with the perfume. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.”

The Pharisees, in their self-righteous arrogance, said there are people who are “sinners” and then there are us Pharisees.

Look at Luke 18: 9: And He also told this parable to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:

Look at the rest of this starting in verse 10:

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee, and the other a tax-gatherer. 11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer. 12’l fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get’

Do you see the attitude that these Pharisee’s had? They were arrogant… and were self-righteously over critical of others.

So when Jesus says in Matthew 7:1, “Judge not lest you be judged”, He is not talking about making sound judgments about open and obvious sin.

Jesus is not forbidding making some judgments in reference to what some were teaching and whether they were a false teacher or not. 1 John 4:1-3.

And He is not forbidding making some judgments about what someone believes and doesn’t believe in reference to salvation; Acts 19:1-7.

He is not forbidding making a judgment in reference to a person’s moral character and whether we should or shouldn’t be their companion.

He is not forbidding sitting in a courtroom as a juror.

When Jesus says, “Judge not lest you be judged”, He is not saying that you are not to make any judgments at all!

Now, in reference to this attitude of looking at others with contempt…It is like the story of the newspaper reporter that was doing a story about the laziness that existed in the South.

You cannot always see other people’s motives.

Before we make judgments about someone we need to get all the facts; don’t work off of assumptions, half-truths, and hear say.

The point is, sometimes what we see is not what is…and what is sometimes is something only God can see and know…

Look at this found in Rom 14:3-4

3 Let not him who eats regard with contempt him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another?

Rom 14:10

But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.

We can’t know everything in everyone else’s heart.

In fact, look at the warning in Matthew 7:

2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

How would you like for God to judge you the way you judge others?

Look at vs. 3:  “And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?

Do you see the word “look”?

Several years ago several of us went out to play golf (Eldon…first tee). .

Before you judge someone else…look at your own life!

Now verse 5: “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Jesus is not forbidding correcting a brother or a sister who is involved in sin…or whose life is not what it should be.

What Jesus is condemning here is being critical of another without being critical of ourselves.

Let’s say that I approach a brother, I have two grown children and neither has remained faithful, and I arrogantly approach a brother and criticize him because his children are not attending services, how affective am I going to be in helping that brother?

If we see our situation first…we might be a little bit slower in criticizing and condemning someone else.

Jesus is saying, if you want to help your brother with his sin you have to take the huge plank if self-righteousness out of your own eye…because it is then and only then that you can truly see to help your brother.

Jesus is not telling us that we are not to make any judgments of people at all.