Summary: One of the most popular verse fragments recited by unbelievers or folks who claim to be believers but who are living in sin is, "Judge not, lest you be judged." Holy proof-texting! What does this teaching really mean to those who are called to be holy?
Love, love, love. The world is infatuated with love!
We who are called to be Christ's ambassadors need to be able to differentiate between what the world calls love and what the Bible describes as Christ-like love.
Proper judgment is an integral part of Christ's love.
What is love? (show video of children from Samaritan's Purse)
Please turn in your Bibles to Matthew 7:1-7
Remember: this is part of a sermon called the Sermon on the Mount
- Jesus is preaching to or teaching His disciples
Not just the 12 but perhaps hundreds who were following Him
Now … you may well be wondering,
“What on earth does that have to do with love?” And, we really only ask that question because today is what our culture calls Valentine’s Day but the love we are talking about is the love found in the two great commandments.
So, look at
Matthew 7:1-2 NIV
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
This seems to be one of the favorite verses in the Bible, especially for those who wish to indulge in what the Bible calls sin but don’t want to feel any guilt for those actions.
So, now look at
Matthew 7:7 NIV
“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 turn and tear you to pieces.”
Are these verses in conflict? And, anyway, what could they possibly have to do with the love commanded by God?
Once again, let’s go back to verses 1-2 and take a look.
Matthew 7:1 NIV
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
The idea here is not making rational judgments but that we are not to set ourselves up as prosecutor, jury and judge; convicting people and handing down sentences.
The idea is not that we should stop making judgments about anyone at all.
Imagine that you have a teenage daughter who is testing the limits of what you will allow as parents. She is in ninth grade. She comes home and says, “I want to go to a party with Billy on Friday night.” Now, you know Billy. You met him on a sidewalk downtown yesterday as he was being questioned by police officers. Billy is 36 years old, had alcohol on his breath, you could see the form of a weapon under his shirt, on his chest is tattooed a list of all the penitentiaries where he has been imprisoned and the party on Friday is at his biker bar called the Raunchy Heathens.
Now … being a good Bible believing Dad and Mom you know that the Bible says, “Do not judge.” So you tell your 14 year old daughter, “OK. Have fun.”
Now, we all know that such an illustration is ridiculous, so, if “Do not judge” does not mean that what does it mean?
From what I read, the meaning of the first phrase in that sentence means not only “Do not judge” but also includes the thought of “Stop judging”.
There was a lot of judging going on in Jesus’ day. The example was set by the Jewish religious authorities. Jesus, the Messiah sent from heaven, was judged for breaking the Sabbath by healing, he was judged for not washing His hands correctly before meals, He was challenged on the payment of the temple taxes, He was judged for eating with “sinners” and allowing a “sinful woman” anoint His feet with perfume.
So, it was natural for the people themselves to have picked up this trait of condemning judgment.
This kind of judgment almost always presents itself in words. Usually gossip. But the Bible says …
James 2:12-13 NIV says
“Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
Psalm 85:10 KJV
“Mercy and truth have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”
OK. So, let’s go on to verse 2 …
Matthew 7:2 NIV
“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
“In the same way …” Two people might see the same person in the same condition and one might say, “What a drunkard, what a waste of life” and another person might say, “Oh that poor guy. I wonder what brought him to that point in his life?”
Have you ever thought what it would be like to stand before yourself as a judge?
There’s this thing called rationalization. Rationalization is when you do something that is the opposite of what you would advise others to do and then try to think of ways to justify your actions. We know that we’re rationalizing. Others won’t fall for it and the Lord certainly is not deceived.