Summary: In dealing with others is treating them the same way we would want to be treated.
A Messiah of Fairness
Text: Matt. 7:1-6
1. Illustration: “To accept people is to be for them. It is to recognize that it is a very good thing that these people are alive, and to long for the best for them. It does not, of course mean to approve of everything they do. It means to continue to want what is best for their souls no matter what they do.” AND – after comparing the difference in the way Jesus and the teachers of the law dealt with the woman caught in adultery (they wanted to throw stones, he accepted her and said ‘go and sin no more) he writes; “Amazingly enough radical acceptance does what condemnation and judgmentalism and self-superiority could not do: produce a changed life…” - John Orteberg, ‘Everyone’s Normal…”
2. As I began to study this text in preparation for today two things occurred to me.
a. This topic brings out the preacher in all of us.
b. There is a fine line that we must walk between condemning and condoning.
3. In our text today Jesus teaches us that the secret in dealing with the topic of judgmentalism is fairness.
a. Fairness in our observation
b. Fairness in our intervention
c. Fairness in our reaction
4. Read Matt. 7:1-6
Proposition: In dealing with others is treating them the same way we would want to be treated.
Transition: First, we must use...
I. Fair Observation (1-2).
A. You Will Be Treated As You Treat Others
1. This text is one of the most misquoted and often misinterpreted Scriptures in all of the New Testament.
a. Those who are confronted with their sin will be quick to quote verse one of this text and say, "You’re not supposed to judge me."
b. Then there is a very popular theory today known as relativism, the idea that everything is relative and right and wrong is a matter of personal perspective. In other words, there are no absolutes.
c. Anyone who challenges that theory is labeled as being "judgmental."
d. However, in order to properly understand the meaning of this text we need to understand what Jesus meant when he said "do not judge."
2. He said, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged."
a. The verb "judge" (krino) has a number of different nuances, depending on the context — ranging from ordinary discernment or evaluation, to judicial litigation, to bestowal of reward, to pronouncement of guilt, and to absolute determination of a person’s fate.
b. The latter two senses are in view here: Jesus warns his disciples against setting themselves over others and making a pronouncement of their guilt before God (Wilkins, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Matthew, 308).
c. The phrase "and you will not be judged" indicates that this sort of judging is not acceptable for a disciple of Jesus.
3. This verse does not forbid judging of any kind, for the moral distinctions drawn in the Sermon on the Mount require that decisive judgments be made (Carson, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The, Pradis CD-ROM:Matthew).
a. 1 Corinthians 5:12 (NLT)
It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.
b. In fact, if we see someone living in sin and don’t try and correct them we are just as guilty.
c. However, this verse echoes the old addage that "those who live in glass houses should not throw stones."
d. Absolute judgment is a categorical pronouncement of the guilt of another person as though this is the final word on a matter.
e. At fault is a person who makes himself and his way of doing things and his opinion the absolute standard.
f. He or she has usurped the place of God because only God can judge in this way.
4. Jesus goes on to say, "For you will be treated as you treat others."
a. The Greek text is emphatic: "With the judgment you judge you will be judged." (Wilkins, 308).
b. Jesus is merely reiterating the Biblical concept of "you reap what you sow."
c. Job 4:8 (NLT)
My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same.
d. True disciples, who have been impacted by the mercy of God in the arrival of the kingdom of heaven, will exhibit mercy toward one another, not judgment.
e. Because true disciples have received forgiveness, they will forgive one another.
5. Jesus says, "The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged."
a. The "standard" can be a scale, a vessel, or a rod used for calculating weight or distance, but which was often used figuratively, as here, to designate God’s uniform justice.
b. The command to judge not is not a requirement to be blind, but rather a plea to be generous.