Summary: This is a revamp of a 1996 sermon I did. What does Jesus really mean when He tells us not to judge people? What do we need to do to obey it?
• Can you tell me the one verse in the bible everyone seems to have memorized?
• How many times have we just taken a look at another person and made a judgment about them. We take one look at them and we think that we know everything about them?
• What about the times when we find out a person has done something and we sit back and think how terrible the person is when all the while we forget about what we have done?
• It is so easy to look around us and make judgments about people while we conveniently forget about our own struggles. It reminds me of a story told by Kathy Plate of Orlando Florida. She said, “While visiting a neighbor, five-year-old Andrew pulled out his kindergarten class picture and immediately began describing each classmate.”This is Robert; he hits everyone. This is Stephen. He never listens to the teacher. This is Mark. He chases us and is very noisy." Pointing to his own picture, Andrew commented, "And this is me. I’m just sitting here minding my own business."
• We are most always the one who is just sitting there minding our own business.
• Have you ever felt the sting of being unfairly judged by another person when they did not even know you?
• I want us to spend our time together today looking at what Jesus has to say about judgment.
• During Jesus day the religious leaders had a tendency to judge a person by their social standing or their race. We do not do this today do we?
• Jesus makes an interesting shift in thought going from encouraging us to rely on God for our needs to a prohibition against being judging others.
• This passage is one that many people quote, but few people really understand or want to understand what Jesus is forbidding us to do.
• What I want to do this morning is to first look at what Jesus really means when He tells us not to judge others, and then I want to take us from there to some steps that Jesus gives to us to help keep us from breaking His command.
I. EXAMINING THE COMMAND. (V 1&6)
A. There are three possible meanings of the word “judge”. In order to be able to do what Matthew 7:1 says. We must understand which of the meanings Jesus intends for this passage.
• Judge as in a person who sits in a court room.
• To discern.
• To condemn.
1. Judge as in a court?
• Civil court judgments are not prohibited.
• Church discipline.
• In Matthew 18:16, a judgment is required to know if church discipline is needed to be exercised. In Titus 3:10 a character evaluation is needed in order to determine if a person is a factious (a person who causes division) person. In 2 Thessalonians 3:6 we are told to determine if a person is leading an unruly life. In 2 John 1:10 we are told to make a judgment concerning the teaching of another person.
• Is this what Jesus is condemning? Apparently not since we are given instances where this judicial type of judgment is used.
• MATTHEW 7:6 “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.
• A person who is discerning is one who will look at the whole situation and make an evaluation based on the facts of the matter.
• Notice that Jesus within the same chapter that He tells us not to judge, tells us not to cast our pearls before the swine or give what is holy to dogs? How do we decide who are swine and dogs according to this passage if we are forbidden to make a fair evaluation?
• How will you know someone by their fruits unless you use some discernment?
• Is Jesus condemning making a well thought out evaluation of someone? No because within the context of this passage, particularly verse 6, we are told to be discerning.
3. Condemning judgment?
• READ ROMANS 14:1-4.
• We are not to just snub our nose at other people or make a judgment based on the fact that someone may not do something like we would or if they are not at the same level of understanding about things are we think we are at a particular time.