Summary: Jesus warns against unjust or critical judgment of others.
Jesus on Judgment
A. James Boice, pastor and author, tells of visiting Europe in the summer of 1970.
1. Stayed with a friend in a new high-rise apartment on the Rhine River.
2. Could see an old fashioned lock that once directed water from the Rhine across the flatlands of France.
3. Not used anymore, and large beams had been placed there to keep the water from going there.
4. The power of the water was still there, but the beams kept it flowing north through Germany.
5. Sometimes criticism or judgment can be like those beams-it can hinder relationships.
B. Psychologists tell us we use defense mechanisms to defend ourselves.
1. One of them is projection-attributing to others the undesirable characteristics we have.
2. T. V. evangelists who are caught in sins they so adamantly rebuke.
C. Jesus speaks on judging or criticizing.
1. Something we have all been guilty of.
2. Probably more times than we care to admit.
3. Natural tendency to look for the bad in others.
4. We dig up dirt rather than uplift.
D. Media is certainly good at digging up dirt.
1. All a person has to do is announce they are running for office.
2. Those who unfairly judge forget they have dirt in their past also.
3. All of us have skeletons in our closets.
4. Not our responsibility to resurrect skeletons but to uplift.
E. Jesus is not saying we are never to criticize, evaluate or make judgments.
1. I was once acquainted with a man in Chipley, Florida who took this view.
2. Thought this is what Jesus meant and went about to prove me wrong.
3. Degenerated into a nasty situation, and he and his wife finally left the church.
4. Sometime later apologized to me after hearing a sermon on this same subject at chapel at the college I was attending.
F. What is Jesus saying?
1. It is our responsibility to evaluate and if necessary make a judgment about what is right and wrong.
2. Not to is what has led to the situational ethics that are so prevalent now. What ever you want to believe or do is acceptable.
3. We have to judge between what is sinful and what is not.
4. Had not the church reformers of the 16th century made judgment about church life and its corruptions, the Protestant Reformation would never have taken place.
UNJUST CRITICISM SHOWS OUR ERRONEOUS VIEW OF GOD
A. Jesus directed this criticism toward the religious leaders.
1. Most of Christ’s rebukes are against the religious not the wicked.
2. Their judgments were wrong and unrighteous.
3. They judged so much because they thought they were better than most people.
4. They made their own standard of religion and morality.
5. Many Jews had replaced the authority of Scripture with the traditions of the religious leaders.
6. They were very judgmental and looked down on those not affiliated with their elite group.
7. Their judgments were hypocritical and based on outward and external appearances.
B. Pharisee and the Tax Collector.
1. Both went to the Temple to pray.
2. Pharisee thanked God he was not a sinner like everyone else, especially the tax collector.
3. Boasted of his service, of his fasting and tithing.
4. Tax collector would not even lift his eyes to heaven but cried out to God for mercy.
C. Jesus is not saying we shouldn’t speak against sin.
1. Preachers, prophets, teachers and Christians have always done this.
2. It is a part of our responsibility.
3. Neither is Jesus condemning courts of law.
4. Confronting sin is actually showing love because we know the consequences.
D. Judging and criticizing unjustly shows an erroneous view of God.
1. God judges with mercy and righteousness-he is fair.
2. He judges according to the standards he has established, and these are pure and holy.
E. Our judgment is often like the religious leaders.
1. We tend to judge by our standards and traditions.
2. We would do well to consult God’s Word more often and let it say what it says.
3. When we have to judge, we must do so by God’s standards.
F. Condemning others causes us to play God.
1. God is the final court, not us.
2. We will all stand before him for the final account not before each other.
3. We make judgments only God is qualified to make.
G. Dr. Barnhouse says there are two questions we should ask ourselves when we have to make judgments.
1. “Does such criticism arise because there is profound grief over sin?”
2. “Is the critic moved by the fact that God is outraged and that great wrong is done?”
Judge not the workings of his brain,