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Summary: what does it mean to judge

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"Judging"

Matthew 7:1-6

6/22/97

Intro: It’s been said that the only exercise some people get is jumping to conclusions, running down other people, sidestepping responsibility, dodging the question, passing the blame, pushing their luck, and wrestling with their conscience.

As we go on in Matthew, we see Jesus addressing a very old but a very commonplace activity: judging others.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way as you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.

What is judgment really all about?

Two taxidermists met for lunch one day, and on the way to a restaurant looked at a display in the store window. The saw an owl perched upon a branch. Right away the one criticized the way it had been mounted: It’s eyes were not natural, it’s wings were not in proportion to its head. The other pointed out that the feathers were not neatly arranged, and the position of the feet could be improved upon. In the middle of their criticism, the owl turned it’s head toward them and let out a "Hoot". Things are not always what they seem.

As Jesus teaches here in the Sermon on the Mount, he is not teaching against all judgment. That would be contradictory to other teachings of scripture. In John 7:24 Jesus clearly tells us that we should "Judge righteous judgments." Many would like to use this as a proof text that we don’t judge any action of any individual.

I know the Bible says not to . . . but don’t judge me. We hear that often. People want to excuse wrong by taking away the right of anyone to judge them. That is not what Jesus is teaching here. We see in verse two, that Jesus really tells us that we will be judged in the same way that we judge others. If anything, Jesus is implying that we will judge. By how do we go about judging?

I think there are a few points that we should make note of here today.

I. Don’t be casting blame on others if you are guilty yourself.

It talks here about a mote and a speck-- an eyelash or a telephone pole. It is so very easy to cast blame on others. If we really want to put blame anywhere, let’s put it on ourselves.

The Apostle Paul looked upon himself as the chief of sinners.

We are also told to esteem others better than ourselves.

So very often we dishonor the cause of Christ by the sin in our own lives. Let’s deal with our own sin before we start going to confront others.

Romans 2:17-24

Now you, if you call yourself a Jew {or a Christian}; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--


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