This past winter I read "The Case For The Real Jesus" by Lee Strobel. While doing an interview, he asked about this scripture. The man he was interviewing made the statement that this verse had become the new John 3:16 in today's society. I think he is correct.
To say what God has already said is not judging although a lot of people call it that. They usually say that when they're trying to justify doing something which they know is wrong. You're not doing the judging in that case because God has already judged what they are doing is wrong.
This is a far-fetched example but this probably won't tread on anyone's toes, at least I hope it doesn't.
Let's say a person professing to follow Christ walks into a convenience store with a loaded gun. They point the gun at the clerk and the two kids buying candy and demand all of the money in the store. Later, you discover this person has committed this crime and you confront them in regards to their action. Their response is "You're not supposed to judge me." How would you react to that?
God's Word says: [bible]Exodus 20:15[/bible] He is the judge and his ruling was that this was sin.
If you decide to dictate whether or not something is right or wrong regardless of what God has said or not said, you are in essence trying to take on the role of God as judge. That is what Jesus was talking about. God had said to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. People took it a step further and instead of asking God about it, they wrote up a whole bunch of rules regarding what you could not do on the Sabbath. It had gotten to the point where Jesus was actually condemned for healing on the Sabbath!
[bible]Matthew 7:2[/bible] This passage of scripture must not be overlooked. If you are judging the person according to your own personal criteria, you will be judged by your own personal criteria. This is really bad because our own criteria is pretty awful when you come to think about it. There's usually very little room for love or grace in it. However, if what you say is according to God's Word then you will be judged according to God's Word as well.
We love to quote the following verses: [bible]Matthew 7:3-4[/bible] however, we usually only manage to get out the first two words in Matthew 7:5. Do you know what they are? Then we ignore the rest of the passage.[bible]Matthew 7:5[/bible]Jesus is not telling us to overlook or ignore sin. He's telling us to make sure we're following God like we're supposed to so that we will be able to help brothers and sisters who have or are in danger of stumbling. We can't minister to them and help them walk rocky paths and avoid pitfalls if we can't see very well either!
We must never ignore sin and we must never water-down God's Word. We owe it to one another to do everything we can to help each other run the race and win the prize! That's called love.
What a great lesson. I am glad this made it out of the archives to be read and studied anew. There are so many great truths found here. Thanks for writing this then and perhaps it can be read again by some now.
good points k. good points...
Your example might not be as extreme as you think.
Something once happened to me that stunned me as the action of Christians.....
I might blog about it one day......
Yes, good points and a great reminder. Thank you for pulling this one out of the archives! God bless you sister :)
Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Mat 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?
Mat 7:4 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?
Mat 7:5 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.
I believe this passage refers to a specific sin, as opposed to not judging in general. We are to judge...... 1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? God has shown us in Mat 7:1-5 that if we are guilty of the sin we are judging ("that", "what judgment", "mote", "beam") we must FIRST cast out the sin, to see clearly......... then judge away........... Praise God.
Very good blog. I think you're right, it is not judging to determine someone's conduct as right or wrong in accordance with scripture and the Word of God. As you say God has already evaluated the action. I also agree with Jon though because even where we simply relay God's judgment on conduct, we ourselves still must determine what the action is that we saw. For example, God determined that kidnapping is wrong but if we see a stranger carry a kid away from the park we must evaluate whether the action was kidnapping or a parent pickup.
I think you're right though, the most important words in there are "thou hypocrit." I know didn't actually say that, but I agree that is the key to understanding the passage. It seems that from the breadth of previous scripture it would seem odd if Yeshua (Jesus) had actually meant that we are not to judge at all. I mean that Abraham, father of all with faith, went up to God and said "Shall not the judge of all the Earth do right?"
Dust! Makes me sneeze. But certainly, I'm glad this got dusted off and put back on the wall for us to read.
The lesson about exercising judgment stands alone as an excellent reminder. and peopple make up some pretty silly "rules" whe we try to refine God's word. As an example, someone decided that it was "work" to walk more than approximately 1200 yards on the Sabbath. Did that make 1199 OK and 1201 a sin? We see this sort of nonsense all the time when we try to REdefine God's word to make the world fit our points of view.
Not quite so clear is that we need to exercise caution when using scripture. Scripture is like statistics, we can find somethng to justify or explain just abut anything. An example was a recent and well read blog here justifying the use of weed based on scripture.
Alive in The Word