During the time of Christ, the religious leaders known as the Pharisees were well known for judging the actions of others. Jesus was not against judging between good and evil. Jesus was against assigning motives to someone else’s actions.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” Matthew 7:1 (NIV)
Jesus used a somewhat humorous parable to demonstrate how people often assign false motives to others simply to distract from the glaring misdeeds in their own life.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” Matthew 7:3 (NIV)
Most of us have seen this kind of judgment at some point in our lives. The guy at work who complains about someone taking home paper clips from the office supplies turns out to be embezzling thousands from the petty cash. Or the lady next door who complains about clutter in your driveway is a hoarder with a home stuffed full of useless trash. We all have something we are guilty of and for some reason there are some who want to use that very thing as a weapon of disgrace for others. In the end, when all is revealed, that kind of person will be judged much more harshly. Jesus taught that the solution is to avoid that kind of behavior.
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.” Luke 6:37 (NIV)
Jesus taught that the real value in life is found when positive reactions to others are the focus of our interactions. Rather than judging others, we are far better off to offer understanding and actually provide assistance of some kind.
“Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37-38 (NIV)
Finally, Jesus made one more important point when providing this important lesson. Jesus made it clear that those who participate in this kind of judgment will likely not be interested in hearing the truth about their behavior; therefore, it’s useless to try to educate them.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.” Matthew 7:6 (NIV)
Jesus was directing his disdain directly at the Pharisees who consistently acted in a manor contrary to this teaching. The Pharisees were religious leaders who allowed their own self-interest to cloud the true desires of God. There is no religious leader or set of rules and regulations that can provide you with righteousness. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ can cover all your sins and render you acceptable to God. Praise God for sending His Son!
Answer each question as though you were speaking privately to Jesus. Don’t just answer yes or no, explain your answer completely to yourself and to the Lord.
Are you aware of your own misdeeds and limitations?
Have you ever judged someone without knowing all the facts?
Has your judgment ever been wrong?
Are you ready to forgive in all circumstance?
Have you encountered those who are not interested in hearing the truth?
All scripture references are linked to Bible Gateway so that you can read each verse in context. Bible Gateway allows you to change the verse to your favorite translation and compare it side-by-side with multiple translations. In addition, you can select to hear an audio version of any verse by clicking on the speaker icon. Keep the Bible Gateway App on your phone so that you can visit the Word of God at any time during your day.