Judge Not? (23 of 26) by Jonathan McLeod

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Judge Not? (23 of 26)
Series: Kingdom Life
Jonathan McLeod
Matthew 7:1-6

''Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you'' (vv. 1-2).

SCRIPTURE READING

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says that his followers are to be different from both the religious hypocrites and the pagan Gentiles. One of the ways that the followers of Jesus are to be different is in how we correct (i.e., judge) someone when he/she is doing something wrong.

[Read Matthew 7:1-6.]

THE NON-CHRISTIAN'S FAVOURITE BIBLE VERSE

It's probably safe to say that the non-Christians favourite Bible verse is Matthew 7:1: ''Judge not, that you be not judged.'' If you say something is wrong, a non-Christian will often reply, ''Didn't Jesus say, 'Judge not'''?

IS IT WRONG TO JUDGE?

Is it wrong to judge? The answer seems clear: Jesus said, ''Judge not.'' But if you really think about it, when a person says it's wrong to judge, that person is making a judgment (i.e., judging a person for judging).

Yes, Jesus said, ''Judge not,'' but when we interpret Scripture, we must always look at the context. In verse 6, Jesus says, ''Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.'' ''What is holy'' and ''[our] pearls'' probably refer to the gospel. ''Dogs'' and ''pigs'' are probably people who are only interested in mocking the gospel. Jesus is telling us to stop sharing the gospel with them. This requires us to make a judgment (i.e., to discern whether or not the people with whom we are sharing the gospel are ''dogs'' and ''pigs'').

We should also examine what the rest of Scripture says about the same subject. There are several verses in the NT that tell us to judge between right and wrong and to correct another believer if necessary. For example, Galatians 6:1 says, ''Brothers, if anyone is ...


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