Do not judge lest you be judged. (Matthew 7:1 NASB)
We are looking this week at what might be a bit controversial – When should a Christian be judgmental?
This one statement of Jesus “Do not judge” is not by any means the whole Biblical teaching on judging. In fact it is not the only thing that Jesus says on judging. So lets turn on some light.
Move down the page a few verses:
And why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3-4 NASB)
Jesus here is talking about picking the speck out of a friends eye when you have a log in your own eye. At first glance it sounds like He is saying the same thing, but look at how it ends.
You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5 NASB)
As you can see, you are still instructed to help you brother with the speck in his eye, but only after you have taken care of the problem in your own eye.
Now look at John 7:24. Again Jesus is speaking:
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
This He said when He was under attack from the Jews in the temple. He basically told them to look at the works He was doing, and judge whether or not He was doing the will of the Father.
If we were accused (falsely or otherwise) today in one of our Churches, would our response be "judge me with righteous judgment", or would it be "you have no right to judge me". I expect that many of us would have to answer the later.
The fact is, the New Testament tells us to judge repeatedly and gives us many examples of Jesus and the apostles judging.
Tomorrow we will look at a few specific examples.
Tell me what your learning.