THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 26
“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. Why do you see 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,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 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.” – The Words of Jesus, Matthew 7:1-5
Jesus has been teaching us how we must begin to clear all the ‘interference’, that is, the sin, from our spirit, our soul and our body, so we can focus our hearts and our minds on the spiritual. He is starting with the basics of becoming ‘perfected’, teaching us to have a clear mental slate, so He can write His words upon our hearts and minds. This must happen before we can expect to receive from Him and to begin the transformation from the rebellious child to the mature disciple of Christ.
We have been told to lay up treasures in heaven, for where our treasure is, there our heart will be also, and it is from the heart that spring the issues of life. In other words, change our focus and our mindset from earthly and temporal to those things above, to the Kingdom of Heaven and of eternal things.
Next, Jesus has told us to guard what we set our sights on and to guard what comes into the focus of our eyes, as they are the ‘lamp to our bodies’.
Jesus has taught us about being single-minded. He is saying to clear away the clutter of double-mindedness. The Apostle James warns that the double minded person is unstable in all his or her ways and should not expect they will receive anything from the Lord. (James 1:5-8).
Lastly, in our previous episode, Jesus taught us that we are to focus on things of an eternal nature instead of the temporal; “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness” and do not be distracted with worries about necessities of the world because God will provide.
Now, Jesus is warning – yes, warning us – once again about our focus. This time He is admonishing the believer not to be the judge or a judge, for only God is able to judge. When He says, “For with the judgment you pronounce”, He is using the Greek word, ‘kríno’ which is a judgment emphasizing a result of everlasting damnation and torment for the unredeemed. This carries with it the action of condemnation with eternal results. Also note, that Jesus is referring to a brother in the faith, “Or how can you say to your brother”, and the eternal benefits that come from the Lord’s judgment is always in favor of the redeemed. We have read, in Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus said, in a like manner, “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother (without cause) will be liable to judgment; whoever says ‘Raca’ to his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
This admonition against making yourself a judge, is one of the most solemn indictments against the self-righteous, and one of the greatest obstacles to being a disciple of Jesus: You are in effect replacing God as the Judge and falsely making yourself decider of people’s eternal fate.
The answer to this error is to “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly”.
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: Don’t be confused about ‘judging’. You are told to use discernment and to judge behaviors and intentions.
“But realize this, that in the last days, difficult times will come. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such people as these.”
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NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? Part 27, “Do not give dogs what is holy…”