Judge Not, Lest Ye be Judged Matt. 7:1-6
Topic: Sunday AM Passage: Matthew 7:1–7:6
1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3“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? 4“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? 5“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.
6“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Our society has become very censorial. The politically correct shun those whom they judge to be outside of their emerging standards.
Brendan Eich, who invented Java Script and co-founded Mozilla was ousted as CEO because in 2008 he gave $1000 to prop. 8, a pro-marriage legislation in California.
If you go to a website called OKCupid to read that story, you'll get a few paragraphs in and then come to a paragraph that says
"Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user. Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.
Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid.
Politics is normally not the business of a website, and we all know there’s a lot more wrong with the world than misguided CEOs. So you might wonder why we’re asserting ourselves today. This is why: we’ve devoted the last ten years to bringing people—all people—together. If individuals like Mr. Eich had their way, then roughly 8% of the relationships we’ve worked so hard to bring about would be illegal. Equality for gay relationships is personally important to many of us here at OkCupid. But it’s professionally important to the entire company. OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure."
Censorship of the politically incorrect. Oh, the intolerance of tolerance. In 10 seconds of searching you can find articles like Don’t Buy Here: 10 Companies That Hate The Gays Really?
Listening to a news story on NPR on my way home from the Post Office and they had a story that relates well to what we're talking about here.
Turns out the Police in New York City are having a slow down. 60% less arrests and up to 90% less for traffic.
The problem it seems is that the mayor has put his sympathy behind all the people who hate the police dept. It's cool and hip to hate on the cops. Cops need to be censored.
So a typical scenario might be an ordinary arrest where the guy gives the cops a little guff and they have to step up a level or two in doing what's necessary in order to have the arrestee submit to their authority.
Meanwhile the by-standers are hissing and booing and calling the cops names, and of course, half a dozen people are making a movie with their I-phone 6. Then it gets posted and no one knows any facts, the cops are just the bad guys. Roughing up some poor hapless innocent guy. In the court of popular opinion, civil dis-obedience is good. Cops are evil.
And the mayor is on board. So the cops have had about enough. Have it your way citizens of NYC.
Now if you dig a little deeper, you might discover that the guy they had to manhandle a little bit to get in the patrol car truly is a menace with a rap sheet as long as your arm and is a hazard to his fellow citizens.
Nobody finds that out. Court of popular opinion is in session. Judgement is passed. The bad guys are the good guys. Ignorance reigns. The cops are on strike. Anarchy here we come.
Jesus is going to address this kind of judgement.
What is the most often quoted verse in the entire Bible? IF you guessed John 3:16, you'd be wrong. It's this one.
Satan has convinced the world that this verse is Jesus telling us we shouldn't hold anyone accountable to anything. How often have you been talking to someone and gotten this thrown back at you. And they love the King James the best, because that was Jesus original tongue. Judge not that ye be not judged.
Like little kids playing Kings X. I know a verse. Jesus said you shouldn't be judgemental about me. My lifestyle. My habits. My bad choices. Any of it. I've got a kings X on me and Jesus said so. (Mental picture of Calvin with his head slightly turned and his tongue stuck out at Hobbes) ((If you're not a Calvin and Hobbes fan . . . I'm sorry . . ))
So what did Jesus mean here? Because we won't get out of these verses this morning before He'll tell us to #1 help our stumbling brother, and #2 discern who the dogs and pigs are. You can't do either of those without making some kind of value judgements.
1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
This must be understood first of all in the context of the rest of the Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus is giving a manifesto to the religious rulers of his day. The scribes and the pharisees. The Council of 70 in Jerusalem.
Beginning in Ch. 6 he has given 5 previous examples of how the man made religion of the day, the religion of man made righteousness has fallen short of God's true standards.
1) 6:1-4 giving of alms to be seen by men
2) 6:5-15 praying to be seen by men (with a true prayer taught in contrast)
3) 6:16-18 fasting to be seen by men
4) 6:19-24 wealth as evidence of righteousness
5) 6:25-34 anxiety over the wrong things
6) 7:1-12 censorship of a false religious system
So the context of Jesus statements and teaching is the wrong judgements of the scribes and pharisees and the ultimate judgement on them.
It's interesting in the context of the first phrase; Do not judge so that you will not be judged. to look at several other places where the same formula is used.
The idea is sowing small and reaping big. Hosea 8:7 says; For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind:
A few weeks back we talked about forgiveness. Mt. 6:14 “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15“But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Same formula. We forgive others. That's wimpy compared to the result; God will forgive us. Huge. And the converse. Don't forgive, and the result is you are not forgiven. Disaster.
In Luke 6:38 it says; give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye measure out it shall be measured to you again.
Here again, the same formula. Give times one. Receive times 1+ God's multiplier. Running over.
This is the idea that Jesus is teaching about judgement. Mt. 7:1,2 1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
Same exact language. Forgive, be forgiven. Give, be given to. Sow, reap. Judge. Be judged.
The Pharisees and Scribes were in the drivers seat. They were the editors of the top 10 lists. Who's in. Who's out. Who's accepted, who's rejected.
In Mt. 11:16 - 19 Jesus says of the scribes and pharisees; 16“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children, 17and say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ 19“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” "They" here refers to the same group Jesus is addressing.
They were making value judgements. THE value judgements for a whole nation.
If the pharisees sang, you were supposed to dance. That was their place in Israel. That's who they were.
In Mt. 23:2 - 5 Jesus says; “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4“They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 5“But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men;
The scribes and the pharisees rejected Jesus. They were the movers and the shakers and that was their judgement. Opinion rendered. Jesus and his ilk, censored. Non PC. Stamped with a big rubber stamp that they weilded that said "REJECT".
They had judged the wind. They would reap the whilwind of Judgement with a capitol J.
They had invented a system of man made righteousness tailored to them. But Jesus says earlier in this same sermon, Mt. 5:20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Paul explains in Romans that a man made self contrived righteousness is not enough. Ro. 3:19 - 24 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
21But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus
So, make a necessary distinction here to understand this passage. We have self righteousness, which is what the pharisees had. An outward appearance of righteousness but the inside was filthy.
And against that we have what Paul calls, the righteousness of God. A God bought and God given righteousness that is given to me freely, by faith in the finished work of Jesus, dying for my sins.
So the righteousness required to enter God's kingdom is a righteousness that we can't achieve. It is given to us by God. How? How does that occur?
Again, Jesus says; Jn. 14:6 "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
Well then, if the scribes and pharisees have made the decision to cling to their own man made righteousness, and to reject Jesus, in view of what we've just said, what is their prognosis? Judgement with a big whirlwind capitol J.
They censored Jesus. They caused everyone in their scope of influence to also censor Jesus.
If you wanted to be a member in good standing of the national and religious life of Israel, you need to side with the scribes and the pharisees in their censorial view of Jesus. If you wanted to be PC in Israel, politically correct, you need to drop Jesus like a bad habit. Hmmm. Nothing much has changed, has it.
Let's look at words for a moment. 1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
Do not judge. The word is krino. It's a common word. So common in fact that it's been interpreted dozens of different ways depending on the context where it's found.
Krinos. Krino. to seperate. Seperate the grain from the chaff. Distinguish. Choose. To exercise Discernment. To get to a Y in the road and choose a direction. A judgement call.
You walk up to the produce bin at Scolari's, and if you're my wife, you peel back the husks on the ears of corn, and you krinos the best ones, and reject the not so hot ones.
She's making a judgement call. Tap the watermelons with your knuckles until you get just the sound and resonance your looking for. Krinos. You're judging those watermelons and picking the one you're going to buy. Or sometimes you look at what they have, and go home with nothing. Same thing. It's a judgement call.
Jesus isn't telling us to never make a judgement call. That's idiotic. He's telling us that if we make bad ones in the spiritual realm, the result is going to be magnified back to us.
Does that maybe put a whole new spin on; 1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
We've talked on a man - God level so far. This principal also works in our day to day relationships with other people.
The scribes and pharisees were at the top of the religious heap. Self righteousness is equivalent to judgementalism. You make the rules. You keep them with all your little quirks and self justifications. You're the baseline. You become god in your little game you've devised.
Guess what. Everyone else is somewhere below the standard you've invented.
In 1828 Robert Owen said to his business partner, The whole world is crazy except me and thee. And I'm not so sure about thee.
That's where you end up with a system of self made righteousness. And the end result is that you're making endless judgement calls of who's in, who's out.
So if you're a pharisee, you pretty much hate everybody because no one is at the same level as you. Especially not the poor. The afflicted. The sick or the old. The foreigners. The half breeds up in Samaria. The gentile infected jews up in Galilee. All of them are below you.
That's why Jesus begins His sermon to them Blessed are the have nots. They're already in a better place than these self righteous judgemental hypocrital scribes and pharisees who all the land of Israel look up to.
A couple of MacArthur quotes, because I can't say it any better. (Actually I can't say any of it any better than him, but it would be poor form to stand here and read you his sermons.)
JMac says "an inseperable corollary of justifying oneself . . is condemning others." He also says of this passage; "what Jesus forbids here is self righteous, officious, unmerited, hasty, prejudiced, and unwarranted condemnation based on human standards and human understanding."
Or to put it in the vernacular, from a pharisaical point of view; (this is jim, not john) "I'm wheat, and y'all are chaff."
They censored pretty much everybody. Including the Son of God. Judgemental whirlwind coming. Read Josephus. 70AD, it came. The Romans came and decimated the jews. Dismantled the temple. Destroyed all of the records. Killed over a million jews. It was over.
Ultimately, they rejected the only person who could deliver them from an eternity in hell.
OK, let's move on.
3“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? 4“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? 5“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.
Jesus has a sense of humor. I'm sure His audience got a kick out of this.
The words are very descriptive. A speck was bigger than the sawdust that gets in your eyes when you're cutting firewood. It was big enough to be a very real irritation. Work comes to a stop. This is a wood chip 1/4 inch long. Ouch.
The log, or beam, is timber that will hold a roof up.
Here's the parallel Jesus is drawing. He's talking about spiritual life and spiritual deadness. Spiritual sight and spiritual blindness.
On a relative weight of wood scale, the first guy is 3 grams weight of wood spiritually dead. The religious leaders in Israel who are offering to help him with his problem are 300 pounds of wood dead. The first guy is 3 grams blind. The leaders in Israel are 300 pounds blind. A ratio of about 15,000 : 1
The beam guy is impossibly dead. The gram weight guy, there's still hope for him.
In terms of salvation, spiritually, it's impossible for an unregenerate person, a non christian, no matter how religious he is, to render any assistance. Dead people cannot render spiritual help.
Mt. 23:15, 16b are the same idea as Jesus is painting with the beam and speck thing. 15"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. 16"Woe to you, blind guides
Blind guides, traveling land and sea with a beam in their eye, offering spiritual help that results in their spiritual offspring becoming twice the sons of hell as they already are.
First get rid of the beam. In our example that would look like walking away from their religion and believing in Jesus. Was that possible. Could that happen? Proud religious hypocrites at the top of their game. What's the likelihood they would turn away from their religious game and follow a guy that was censored?
It's impossible with men, but with God, all things are possible.
There once was a pharisee named Saul who was on his way to Damascus to kill christians. Talk about a beam in his eye. And God stopped him in his tracks and removed the beam.
Then he became Paul. And Paul never said a judgemental offensive word to anyone, right? Wrong. Paul was getting stoned in every town he went to because he would show up and let the people know they were condemned in their sin before a Holy God.
That's an extreme example, but in the context of who Jesus is speaking to here, I think it's what he meant. But the principal holds true for us in the church, doesn't it.
Paul said to the Galations, 6:1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
James says; Ja. 5:19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Jesus says; Mt. 18:15"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.
This is all over the Bible. We are commanded to intervene in each others lives. But we're commanded first to have our own act together.
This is dicey business. You who are spiritual . . do this. Check your own spiritual vision for logs first. Take care of that. Then lovingly and humbly offer your sinning brother or sister a helping hand up.
Then, finally, we have vs. 6. What do we do with that! Mt. 7:6“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Yikes. We've got several metaphors to figure out here. What is the thing that is holy? What are the pearls? Who are the dogs? Who are the swine?
Peter's going to help us out here. I would encourage all of you to read 2Peter chapter 2 in it's entirety.
What Peter describes there, he uses the exact language that Jesus uses here, and it makes perfect sense.
False prophets. False teachers. People who come into the church, but they get carried away by lust and greed and devise ways via false teaching to corrupt the church.
So they have heard and understood the gospel and on the surface even made some kind of response. They claim to be christians. But then they defect. They depart. Or worse, they stay and try to corrupt sound doctrine right inside the church of God.
Listen to how Peter ends that chapter. The final 3 verses; 2Peter 2:20 - 22
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. 22It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.”
These are apostate so-called believers. Ultimately they are not born again. They stopped short of real salvation. They are dangerous. They'll promise you freedom and make you a slave to their errors. Bad stuff.
I've been around MacArthur's church and doctrine for 44 years. It's interesting to hear of all of the different opportunities John has had to go some place and debate some of these very people.
He won't do it. He refuses to throw God's holy word into the mud for these folks to trample.
That's a good example for us.
So, where do we draw that line. Where is that distinction where we would say, that's a line I'm not going to cross over because of this passage right here?
It isn't black and white, is it. I'm going to say that this may be different for different believers. If you're a brand new believer and you're just trying to get some solid ground under your feet, you're getting blown around by all the different winds of doctrine, you're unsure, I'd say you need to be very cautious.
OTOH if you're someone who has built on a solid scriptural foundation of sound doctrine for 40 years, you might get out at a different place than the first person we described.
There's latitude here. That's why next week we're going to see that the next thing out of Jesus mouth is to pray about this. Pray for this wisdom.
IN the context of our passage this morning, I'm guessing there were dogs and swine present just waiting for the day they could rip Jesus wide open.
We also have the example of Paul in Acts 18:5 - 6 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. 6But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
Paul was fearless in Macedonia, but when the false religionists, the jews, got belligerent and began to blaspheme, Paul shook out the dust of them and went elsewhere.
Some people are immoveable in their wrong choices. Wrong judgements.
If you're here this morning and you haven't yet made the right judgement call on Jesus, I urge you to not bring judgement on yourself by making the wrong call. He is the way into the kingdom of God. He is the one who can give you the righteousness of God.
More in The Gospel of Matthew
March 26, 2017The Authority and Commission of Jesus Mt. 28:16 - 20
March 19, 2017Jesus IS Alive! The Tomb is Empty Mt. 28: 1 - 15
March 12, 2017The Burial of Jesus Mt. 27:55 - 66 pt. 2