Judge Not? #3

Monday, August 5, 2013

“Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1 KJV).

Today’s Scripture, often used against the Bible believer who exposes sin for what it is, is not teaching what it is often assumed to assert.

To understand what Jesus Christ meant we must read the context: “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5).

Our Lord is referring to hypocritical judging. Romans 2:21,22 provide an example: “Thou [Jew, verse 17] therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?” The Jews should have taught the Gentiles the Word of JEHOVAH God. Alas, the Jews were equally guilty of breaking God’s laws as the Gentiles—the Jews acted liked the Gentiles who did not even know JEHOVAH!

What Jesus Christ meant in today’s Scripture is that in His kingdom on earth, no hypocritical judging will be tolerated. Whatever standard by which a Jew condemns others’ actions, his own activities will be evaluated by that same standard. For instance, he will come under God’s condemnation if he ridicules a thief, when he himself has been dishonest (a fact he ignores). He emphasizes the sin of one person (the “mote,” or speck), but he has many sins (the “beam,” or log)—in fact, he is guilty of the same sins!

This, however, does not mean we Christians are to remain apathetic—silent—about sin….