Summary: Let’s look at one of the best known passages in the Bible!
• SLIDE #1
• 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?
• Have you ever felt the sting of being unfairly judged by another person when they did not even know you?
• 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.
• 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.
• Let’s begin with verse 1.
• SLIDE #2
• Matthew 7:1 ( ESV ) “Judge not, that you be not judged.
• Let us begin by looking at:
• SLIDE #3
I. AN EXAMINATION OF THE COMMAND. (V 1&6)
• What does this mean?
• 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.
• Let’s begin by looking at the first possibility
• SLIDE #4
A. Judge as in a court setting?
• 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 Jesus is condemning judgment in a judicial sense? Apparently not since we are given instances where this judicial type of judgment is used.
• There is a second possibility
• SLIDE #5
B. Hypocritical judgment?
• Let us look at Romans 2:1-4
• SLIDE #6
• Romans 2:1-3 ( ESV ) Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who do such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
• We have to be careful not to condemn someone who is doing the same thing as we are doing!
• For some reason, it is easier to jump to negative conclusions about people than it is to assume the best about them. When we do this, we ascribe to them bad intentions and evil purposes that may not be true. We also reveal something about ourselves, for the faults we see in others are actually a reflection of our own.
• Jesus tells us that if we judge with a critical spirit that God will do the same for us.
• The third possibility is:
• SLIDE #7
C. Making a discerning judgment?
• 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?