Summary: To avoide harsh and incorrect judging, recognize your limitations, remember your personal debt to God, and admit your own weakness.
The Blind Eye Surgeon Matt. 7:1-5
INTRO.: ILLUS.: Back in the days when such surgery was done in hospitals, I was visiting a patient who had cataract surgery. Her surgeon came into the room and bragged that this was his 3,000th cataract surgery. “And just look how clear and pretty that eye is,” he boasted as he held her eye open.
His eyesight, of course, was superb. I couldn’t begin to see what he was trying to show me. After all, who would want a near sighted or blind eye surgeon to operate on him?
This is the picture Jesus paints to show the silliness of a person blinded by his own faults trying to “operate” on another to correct his faults. (Read Scripture)
The meaning of judging here: making a choice or decision. The implication is a choice we do not have the right to make, i.e.: about another’s relationship with God.
Certain judgements are required of Christians. V. 15. & Gal. 1:8. Nor is civil judgement condemned. Jesus condemns the kind of judgement where we set ourselves up as God and make judgements about the other’s motives, criticizing or belittling them.
Verse 6 is a problem to some because it seems to say we must decide who is worthy of hearing the Gospel. A more likely understanding is some judge themselves unworthy of hearing the Gospel by rejecting it. We do not waste time or effort continuing preaching to them. Another time or person may achieve better results.
Jesus condemns a kind of criticizing we do all too often. How can we avoid being harshly critical & unkind to others?
I. Recognize our own limitations.
A. Correct judgement requires full knowledge:
1. One lady said, “I don’t know how a person like that can claim to be a Christian,” speaking of another Christian.
2. She knew nothing of the temptations he faced.
3. Nor did she know the whole person. People behave differently under different circumstances.
B. Correct judging requires impartiality:
1. Ancient Greeks sometimes blindfolded judges to insure impartiality.
2. Complete impartiality is impossible for humans.
3. We form immediate first impressions and allow them to color our judgement.
C. Correct judging requires authority:
1. Only God has that authority. Rom. 14:4
2. After the Super Bowl, many Patriot fans may want to fire certain players, but only the head coach and general manager have that authority
3. Just as only God can decide who is and is not a child of His.
II. Remember our personal debt to God:
A. We received a great gift of forgiveness and grace.
1. We have been freely forgiven.
2. We should be willing to freely forgive.
3. When we are critical & judgmental, we don’t reflect God’s grace.
B. We receive as we give:
1. From God. Gal. 6:7
2. From men. Luke 6:38
3. So, unless perfect, we should not presume to judge others.
4. The woman taken in adultery gave Jesus a chance to teach this lesson. John 8:1ff.
C. There is great danger in judging: Romans 14
1. We may reject someone God has received. V. 3
2. God is the rightful judge. He is jealous of the privilege.
3. He will also judge the judge. 10-13
III. Admit our own weakness:
A. Sometimes we criticize to hide our own faults:
1. The “I am better than he is” attitude.
2. We are most prone to criticize in others what we dislike in ourselves.
3. ILLUS.; “She is a real gossip. I hate gossip.”
4. “She is always criticizing others.”
5. It’s easier to fool one’s self than anyone else.
B. Self-examination should precede criticism of others.
1. Ask “Why am I critical?”
2. Ask if I might be guilty of the sane sin, or a worse one.
3. Ask if I am only trying to make myself look better, wiser, etc., than the other person.
C. Love and meekness are essential to Christian relationships: Gal. 6:1
1. Our aim is to help others be better.
2. But be careful to be obedient to God ourselves.
3. In trying to help, we face the danger of setting ourselves up as judges.
CONC.: Beware: Christianity is not a spectator sport where we sit in the stands and tell others how to do the things we cannot or will not do ourselves. When we have spent adequate time correcting the faults in our own lives, few of us will have time left to judge others.