Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
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. – Matthew 7:1-5
In the previous article within this series I stated, “judgment is an important part of who we are as humans created in the image of God.” Is that a true statement?
The judgment I have been writing about is judgment of right and wrong, or we could say knowledge of good and evil. Maybe that’s more like what we inherited from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and not so much what makes us in the image of God.
In any case, knowledge of good and evil—which is the foundation of judgment—is something that we must deal with. It is this knowledge that leads us to sin, and sin leads to death.
So, it makes sense why Jesus would say, “judge not that you be not judged, for with what judgement you judge, you shall be judged.”
If we say that something is bad, evil, wicked, corrupt, dishonest (you get the idea), but then we do those things that we have judged negatively, then we testify to our own inner corruption. We know better but we do the wrong thing anyway.
What’s worse is we judge another for doing the very same thing. Top that off with judgment in the sense of executing vengeance for the wrong done—a wrong that we also do—and there you have it. We just made ourselves worthy of vengeance. We made ourselves worthy of death.
We have all done it.
We have all condemned someone in our heart for doing something that we have done ourselves, at least on some level. We might not have committed the same exact sin or the same degree of sin, but all sins are so closely related in terms of the baseline heart issue involved that we have some traces of the same corruption within us.
It is better for us to look at our own faults, no matter how small they might seem, than it is for us to harp over the sins of others. In doing the latter, we are condemning ourselves. We are always safe when we are honest about our own sin, so long as we are sincerely sorry, seek Jesus for mercy, and do what we can in faith to see the goodness of Christ worked in us by the Holy Spirit so that we can do better.
Then, once freed from our nature or at least made aware, we can humbly approach those who sin in like manner—not to condemn them or to look down on them—but to convert them to the righteous way in love. Sometimes love is a sharp rebuke, but that should not be our go-to position. Some people only respond to sharp, direct rebukes. Some situations are very serious and the person at fault is in great danger or causing serious harm to others.
Most situations can be tempered with understanding, compassion, and patience knowing that we all need the grace of God.
How is our society doing at upholding this teaching of Jesus? Not so well, it seems.
Instead of looking to our own faults, many would rather look to the sins of others—and in many cases, go one step further into transgressive territory by falsely accusing and slandering people. Add to this a heart that is full of vengeance and death is knocking at the door.
Death is knocking at the door, for sure. So is Jesus, so let us listen to Him. Lord willing, those who love Him will remember this teaching so that we do not participate in the sins of this time—the sins of hypocritical, self-righteous, lying, and crewel judgments.
It isn’t hard to think of a few examples of unjust and unrighteous judgment happening today. However, for the sake of those who are taken by this, it is worth considering. Lord willing, we will get to that next.
This article is part of a series that considers the Parables of Jesus. Right now, we are looking at the statements Jesus made during His Sermon on the Mount, to which He referenced in His Parable of the Building on Rock and Sand. Visit the link for quick access to all articles written within this series.
PREVIOUS POST IN THIS SERIES: Judge Not that Ye Be Not Judged (Part 1) – What is Judgement?
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