JUDGE NOT, THAT YE BE NOT JUDGED
By John C. Carpenter
 
The Holy Scriptures teach us, And seeing the multitudes, he [Christ]went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Mat 5:1-16). Christ later added, Judge [krino; i.e., to distinguish, to decide mentally or judicially, to try, conclude, determine] not, that ye be not judged [krino; i.e., to distinguish, to decide mentally or judicially, to try, conclude, determine]. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 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? 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 (Mat 7:1-5). When Christ instructed His disciples to “judge not, that ye be not judged,” what did He mean by those words? Did Christ mean that His disciples [as well as all believers in Christ] were to never commit judgment, a doctrine widely taught in the Christian church?
 
THOU HYPOCRIT
 
When the Lord said, “judge not, that ye be not judged,” was He instructing believers to not ever commit judgment, simply because committing judgment is wrong? The answer is “no.” This was not the point of His words. Christ was partly teaching that when we judge, we can expect to be judged; He was teaching about the consequences of our behavior, about sowing and reaping. He explained this idea next, For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (Mat 7:2). However, Christ was also teaching [and warning us] that judgment is often committed by hypocrits. He added, And why beholdest thou the mote [karphos; i.e., a dry twig or straw (something small)] that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam [dokos; i.e., a stick of timber (something large)] that is in thine own eye? 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 7:3-4). Christ was also teaching about hypocrisy when he said, Thou hypocrite [hupokrite¯s; i.e., an actor under an assumed character, a stage player, a dissembler, a 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 (Mat 7:5). It is apparent that Christ was clearly not teaching that judgment should never be committed, since He instructed us to “first cast out the beam out of thine own eye [judge ourselves]; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye [judge thy brother].” If He wanted the believer to never commit judgment, Christ could not and would not have made this statement.
 
JUDGE RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT
 
In fact, according to the Scriptures, God the Father periodically expects believers to commit judgment. One area in which God the Father expects believers in Christ to commit judgment is the area of appearances. However, those judgments should be made only with strict standards. John, the apostle, wrote, Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance [opsis; i.e., an external show, appearance], but judge [krino; i.e., to distinguish, to decide mentally or judicially, to try, conclude, determine] righteous [dikaios; i.e., equitable, innocent, holy, just, meet, right] judgment [krisis; i.e., decision, accusation, judgment] (John 7:14-24). To “judge righteous judgment” means to come to conclusions about others [and ourselves] based, not on how things appear, not on deceptive practices, and not on creating impressions, but, on correct, realistic assessment and thought.  AMEN.









 
 
THE CHRISTIAN HERALD
                                                           A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
 
"Ye shall walk
after the LORD
your God, and
fear him, and
keep his commandments,
and obey his
voice, and ye
shall serve him,
and cleave
unto him"
(Deu 13:4)




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