Scriptures

Judging Others

Introduction

‘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. ‘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? ‘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. ‘Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.’ Matthew 7:1-6

‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’ He also told them this parable: ‘Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. ‘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, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.’ Luke 6:37-42

Jesus here teaches against the legalistic judging that the Pharisees were practicing, their self-righteous legal system of doctrine moved them to be critical of others who didn’t agree with them on every point of their theology.

The word ‘judge’ used here is the Greek word, ‘krino’ which is used in places like, John 12:48 / Acts 17:31 / 2 Timothy 4:1.

The use of the word, ‘judge’ therefore is speaking about the kind of judging that speaks of someone’s salvation, or the lack of it, in others. Christians shouldn’t practice this kind of judging, after all, not even Christ did this while He was on earth.

‘For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.’ John 12:47

The problem with judging someone in terms of their salvation is sinful because God is the judge and He knows people’s hearts and motives better than anyone, and He has a date set for this kind of judging, 1 Corinthians 4:4-5.

Notice that Luke tells us that we shouldn’t judge or condemn but ‘forgive’, why? Because we have been forgiven and we need forgiveness as much as the next person and who are we to withhold forgiveness from others, when we needed it so much ourselves?

‘When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. ‘Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. ‘This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’ Matthew 18:21-35

Notice also that Luke tells us to ‘give’. It’s the nature of godly people to behave as God. God is a giver, and so, His people should give. Those who love their brothers and sisters in Christ don’t stand in judgment over them. The thrust of what Jesus states here is that we will be dealt with in final judgment by God in the same manner by which we treat our fellow man, James 2:12-13.

Therefore, when we measure mercy to others, God will in turn measure mercy to us. That’s the biggest problem with this kind of judging, it’s judging with condemnation attached. In other words, they become the judge, juror and the jailor.

Luke also add a parable which basically means, those who are spiritually dead can’t lead anyone onto a spiritual life, because both are spiritually blind. No one can lead above and beyond his own spiritual stature. Those who disciple others will lead them to be like themselves. If the teacher is spiritually blind, the student will become like his teacher, spiritually blind too, John 13:16 / John 15:20.

We must always look at others with an attitude of love, otherwise legalism moves us to be critical and unmerciful in judgment concerning another’s beliefs and life. God will severely judge those who harbour such attitudes toward our fellow man.

‘Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. ‘Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. ‘At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go. ‘But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ ‘But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. ‘Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. ‘This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’ Matthew 18:21-35

The plant of wood in your own eye, expresses the hypocritical mistake of the legalistic judge who considers themselves righteous while judging the faults of another in comparison to their own self-righteousness.

Their system of religion moves them to be judgmental of small matters in the lives of others who don’t conform to their regimented beliefs, while at the same time there is a major flaw in their own life.

This is basically a picture of a person who ignores his own grievous sins while trying to correct the relatively minor shortcomings of another.

The speck of dust and the plank represent the inequality between that which is tiny, insignificant, almost invisible, and that which is obvious, flagrant, and obtrusive.

The legal system of judgment by which the faultfinder lives, makes it impossible for them to be an objective judge of others. In order for us to correctly evaluate others, we must first recognise our own sinful state, Galatians 6:1.

We must live our life by the same standard by which we look at others.

Now don’t miss this important point here, just because someone has a speck of dust in their eye, doesn’t mean they can ignore it, Jesus says it still needs to be removed, this is done by admitted that we have faults, and we need forgiveness.

This also implies that Christians can judge other Christians as long as it’s done humbly, lovingly, with the best interests of their brother or sister in mind but not with hypocritical condemnation.

If we really wanted to help our brother or sister, our first stop is to remove the plank from our own eye. This means that we should prepare ourselves by acknowledging our own sins and then we’re in a better position to help others come to an acknowledgement of their own sins, 1 John 1:8-10.

Now what did Jesus mean when He said, ‘Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.’

It simply means that the most holy things ought not to be offered indiscriminately to all persons, the dogs and swine refer to people who are mean and vicious and who have no desire to apprehend spiritual things.

When the precious spiritual truths of love and mercy are extended toward the ruthless and hard-hearted, they are received with criticism and mockery. How someone receives the pearls of truth determines his true nature.

Once a vicious nature is discovered, then it’s useless to offer opportunity by continual preaching and teaching the precious truths to the one who continually rejects such.

Why would judging our brothers and sisters condemningly damage our outreach efforts?

It gives the impression that some are more ‘righteous’ than others, it gives the impression that others need ‘more’ forgiveness than others, Romans 3:10 / Romans 3:23.

How does Jesus teaching about ‘Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs,’ help us in our evangelism efforts? It teaches us that we shouldn’t get discouraged when people refuse to listen or accept what the Bible says, Acts 17:32.

In other words, they were saying, ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’ and we all know what this means, don’t we?

 

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

Colossians 3:12

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