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Judge Not, That You Be Not Judged

Judge Not, That You Be Not Judged

I don't know how many times I've heard folks use this verse in error. "Judge not, that you be not judged", has been used as the "you can't judge me" verse of the Bible. And, on the surface, it certainly sounds like that's what it could mean. However, considered within its context, we can appreciate what the Lord was saying to His disciples.

What a fallacy to think that Jesus would say, ‘Don't you ever judge!' Both the law of Moses and the law of Christ require a measure of judgment, else any instruction with regard to the sin of others is useless. Leviticus 19:15 commanded that no partiality be employed, but that "...in righteousness you shall judge your neighbor." Deuteronomy 1:16 says, "...judge righteously between a man and his brother or the stranger who is with him." The Law of Moses required judgment.

Jesus, speaking of Himself, said, "...As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of the Father..." (John 5:30). In John 7:24 we read, "...Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."

What is Jesus saying in the words, Matthew 7:1-3,  "Judge not, that you be not judged.  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?” The Lord is addressing hypocritical judgment, Matthew 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,” one who judges another, who is even caught in the same iniquity.  Paul speaks of it this way in Romans 2:1-3 "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?"

"Judge not, that you be not judged." Do not hypocritically judge another while concealing your own struggle with the very same transgression. Judge righteously, in honesty and according to truth. Judge with the intention of helping, not harming the other. May our intention always be to uplift one another, and to bear one another's burdens.
Antioch church of Christ
04/18/10  am





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