Judge Not! We continue our series of Words of Christ devotions from the Sermon on the Mount in both the books of Matthew and Luke. Jesus is imploring us not to judge others.
1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:1-5, NKJV
See also Luke 6:37-42
Jesus often used very common examples to illustrate His eternal truths. Such is the case in these verses from Matthew 7 (and in the parallel passage from Luke 6). Oh, how He understood the true nature of man, for it is in our very nature to compare everyone to ourselves. However, is that truly the way we are to consider our fellow man? Do we actually think we are the absolute center of truth?
How, then, are we to judge one another? Jesus warned that we are not to judge falsely, for we are too prone to ignore the plank of sin in our own eye, but seek to remove the mere dust of sin we see in our neighbor's eye. What, then, is to be the real measure of truth and judgment?
God has given to us, in His Holy Word, a true standard for judging all matters. As a matter of fact, His Word is the only absolute measure for truth, righteousness, and holiness. All laws of man are to be subservient to God's Word, the Bible. Is that the way man views God's Word in this, the 21st century? No!
It seems as though, from nation to nation, we see the propensity to erase all evidence of the commandments of God. The Ten Commandments from the Bible are actually a summary of all that God has revealed to us regarding the way in which we should live and conduct ourselves. Yet, those very commandments are a raw reminder to man of his own sin. Which of those commandments are we not tempted to disobey? In our heart of hearts, we know that, though we may not actually break each and every commandment, we violate the principles of those commandments daily.
What, then, are we to do? Through the Lord Jesus Christ, God has granted to us a means of forgiveness--an access to God, Himself. Separated from Him by our sin, we are hopelessly and eternally condemned. But, through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, shed on the cross as payment for our sins, we have access to God. Through Christ, alone, there is forgiveness, and through Christ, alone, a way has been granted back to God.
Does that mean that when we accept Christ's payment for our sins that we cease to sin? Oh, that it would be so! Unfortunately, our sins will be a grief to us all of our days on this earth. However, as we grow in the Lord, through the study of His Holy Word, and through prayer and fellowship with Him, we find that sin loses its hold on us more and more. We will never be totally free of its grip upon us in this life, but we look forward to our life to come when the bonds of sin will be broken forever!
Let us, then, as children of God, seek Him. Let us study His Word, memorize it, and make it part of our daily lives. Let us fellowship with God in prayer, and seek the forgiveness of Christ, when sin rears its ugly head in our lives.
Judge not, that you be not judged! True judgment belongs to God, alone! Go to Him, for only in Him will you be released from the entanglement of sin.
What an amazing God we serve!