The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

05/05/2011

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The Judging Business


"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Matt. 7:1-2).

The first two verses of Matthew 7 from the Sermon on the Mount are frequently misused. They are often construed to mean that all manner of judging is forbidden. It would seem that the next few verses reinforce the idea that all judging is verboten when Jesus talks about trying to get the "speck out of your brother's eye, when you have a plank in your own." If Jesus would have stopped here and said no more on the subject, we might give pause to feel that way, but He does not. "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces" (V 6).

This verse certainly implies that some judgement on our part has to be made. How can we figure out just who the dogs and pigs are if we do not make a judgement? A little farther on in the chapter Jesus says; "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." To determine whether there is a false prophet among us requires that we know the truth and are ready to make a judgement on it, and Jesus tells us how. "By their fruit you will recognize them." At another time, Jesus taught this; "Stop judging by mere appearance, and make a righteous judgement" (Jn.7:24). The apostle John reiterated Jesus' teaching by telling us to "test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 Jn 4:1). The type of judging that is forbidden by God is the self-righteous and hypocritical kind. That's the kind that calls God's judgement on us...We are called to make a lot of judgements....Lets just be careful about that plank....More on the subject tomorrow

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