The Future Is As Bright As The Promises Of God

Archive for November 13, 2013

“Judge not, that ye be not judged”

Many misunderstand and misuse Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged,”(NASB). I am certain that someone at sometime in your lifetime has said to you, “Do not judge.”
My grandpa used to say, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one.” I think all of us have recognized the inconsistency between the way we act and the way we expect others to act. It is easy for us to judge others because we see ourselves as good people and it is easy to see the faults of others.
The poet Robert Burns once wrote, “Oh, would some power the Giver give to us, to see ourselves as others see us.” This is what Jesus is saying in Matthew 7:3-5. “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? 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? 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.” (NASB). But, because of what Jesus said 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.” (NASB). I believe it goes beyond Burns’ statement “To see ourselves as others see us.” We should see ourselves as God sees us.
So, are we as Christians to “judge” others? Certainly. The Greek term used here is krino and does not imply indifference to the moral condition of others. It does not mean we are not to appraise those with whom we live.
This command, “Do not judge,” is followed by two further commands. “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6 (NASB). “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15 (NASB). It would be impossible to obey those commands without judging. We must be able to recognize dogs, swine, and false prophets.
Jesus does not forbid His followers from forming opinions concerning the character and conduct of other men — such judgment is always right if we have the means of judging…
“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” Matthew 7:16-18 (NASB).

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