Summary: Are we truly never supposed to judge anything? Is this what Jesus was saying?
SPECKS AND PLANKS AND PIGS
The Scripture reading for tonight is from Matthew chapter 7, verses 1 through 6. The message is entitled “Specks and Planks and Pigs,” and we’ll be talking on the subject of judging others.
If you have a red letter edition of the Bible, you will notice that all the words from Matthew 5:3 through Matthew 7:27 are written in red. These are words spoken by Jesus in His “Sermon on the Mount.”
The basic message of the Sermon on the Mount can be found in Matthew 5:48, “ 48“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
By “perfect”, Jesus is not saying that we will be without sin and morally flawless. He is telling us to be complete, whole, and spiritually mature. He is saying to be all that God wants us to be.
He set the goal, and it is up to you and me to do our best to reach that goal. Jesus challenges us to strive for greater service for the Lord.
As we press toward the goal of perfection, we are to be careful not to judge others harshly or carelessly.
Look at verse 1 of Matthew chapter 7, “ 1“Judge not, that you be not judged.”
You don’t have to raise your hands, but let me ask you this question – have any of you ever been judged by someone else?
Maybe because of something that happened in your past?
Have you ever been criticized for being a little different or maybe doing something different from everyone else? Have you ever been unfairly judged or criticized by someone who didn’t even know you?
I think most of us could answer yes to these questions. Being criticized or harshly judged by someone isn’t fun, is it?
There’s a story about little Jimmy who was showing a picture of his kindergarten class to his grandmother. He began describing some of his classmates. “ This is Bubba. He hits everybody.”
“This is Johnny. He never listens to the teacher, and this is Arthur. He is always chasing the girls.” Then he pointed to his own picture, and said, “ This is me. I’m just sitting there minding my own business.”
A lot of us, even Christians, are like little Jimmy. We are quick to see the faults in everyone else, but we have a blind eye when it comes to our own faults.
Sometimes we sit up high in our righteous “lookout tower” and use our special “character judging” binoculars. Have you ever said, or heard anyone say, “ I’m a pretty good judge of character?”
I feel that first impressions are important in certain situations. I like to make a good impression when I meet someone for the first time. But most of the time first impressions are only skin deep.
The first impression we get of someone because of how they look, or talk or how they dress, can be very incomplete.
If we aren’t careful, we can prejudge a person in a negative way before we get to know them.
Steve Martin said, “ Never judge a man unless you’ve walked a mile in his shoes. Then you’ll be a mile away, and you’ll have his shoes.”
But in this era of political correctness and tolerance, Matthew 7:1 has become the most quoted verse. Of course, most of the people who quote it don’t know the full meaning of it, and don’t even know where it is in the Bible.
In fact most of them wouldn’t even know it is in the Bible if someone hadn’t told them. This is a very popular verse to quote when someone gets caught in sin.
They say, “ Hey, the Bible says you’re not supposed to judge me. If you judge me, you’ll also be judged.” Or in so many words, “ Get off my case!”
People try to use this verse to justify their sinful deeds. “You can’t tell me I’m a sinner. Don’t tell me that I can’t do drugs, or get drunk or live in sin.
The Bible says to judge not.” “ You don’t have a right to judge me!”
There are even a lot of Christians who use this verse as an excuse not to get involved.
They don’t want to do their part. Sometimes they just don’t want to deal with an unpleasant situation.
“No. I’m not going to talk to my best friend about the affair he is having. He’s a member of the church and he knows he’s doing wrong. And besides, the Bible says to judge not.”