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Judging and Hypocrisy

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In 1884 a young man died, and after the funeral his grieving parents decided to establish a memorial to him. With that in mind they met with Charles Eliot, president of Harvard University. Eliot received the unpretentious couple into his office and asked what he could do.á A … More

Judging

The Lord is dealing with the Pharisees on the matter of  judging and hypocrisy (v. 1). They were judging Christ because He was not offering the kind of kingdom they anticipated or the kind of righteousness they were exhibiting. Jesus was not teaching that judgments should never be made. The person who believes all that he hears, and accepts everyone who claims to be spiritual will certainly experience confusion.

The point being made here is that we are not to judge the inner motives of another. The first principle of judgment must begin with ourselves. The Pharisees “played God” as they condemned other people, but never considered that God would one day judge them (v. 2). The purpose of self judgment is to prepare us to serve others. The Pharisees judged and criticized others to make themselves look good.

The Lord uses the “mote” and the “beam” as an illustration of His point (v. 3). He pictures a man with a two-by four stuck in his eye, trying to remove a speck of dust from another man’s eye (v.4-5). If we do not honestly face up to our own sins; and confess them, we blind ourselves to ourselves and will not be able to see clearly enough to help others. Don’t give what is holy to unholy people (v. 6). In other words don’t give pearls to swine. They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you. It is futile to try to teach holy concepts to people who do not want to listen and will only tear apart what we say. This does not mean that we should stop giving the Gospel to unbelievers.

Application

Have I ever been guilty of trying to judge another person when I had things in my own life that needed to be judged? How would I recommend approaching people who need help or correction?

Matthew 7:1-6 (English Standard Version)

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? 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. "Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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