Matthew 7: Don’t Judge Me
In Matthew 7, we come to one of the most popular passages that unbelievers reference when Christians appeal to some type of moral standard that God has set.
Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
I think that a large part of the confusion over this passage comes down to what it means to judge.
Does this mean that we can never tell people they are doing something wrong? I don’t think so. I don’t think it means that because when you get down to verse 5, we are able to cast out the mote out of our brother’s eye once we have gotten rid of the beam in our own eye. We are able to help our neighbor once we have our own house in order. As a result, I don’t think that prohibition is on correcting things that are wrong. We don’t want to be hypocritical and do exactly what we tell people not to do, but it seems that there is a time where it is acceptable to do just that.
What then does it mean to judge? I think that we are talking about a salvation issue here. I am thinking of judgment in the sense that one of the outcomes of judgment is condemnation. Ultimately, God is the one who is going to judge. Therefore, it makes sense that Jesus would say it is not my job to do that. My job is to love God and try to glorify Him in whatever I do.
As a result, I think that in context, we entirely have a right to talk about moral issues. As long as we’re not being hypocritical, it does not seem that there is a prohibition against that. However, there are things that we need to leave to God. Eternal judgment is His. We know the verdict that everyone is guilty before God, and we know that salvation is available for all who will receive it. I know that, but I do not know the heart of every person I have ever met. Who has truly accepted God, and who hasn’t? It is God’s call to judge that.