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Devotionals Sermon on the Mount

Judgment

Our Lord picks up what happens in the heart, goes through one’s mind and out of the mouth once again. This time the idea is you taking on the role of a “judge” and pronouncing someone guilty of an offense. Each of us knows exactly how this works because we have installed ourselves as “judge” over another person’s deeds. Most of the time we hear or see half of the “offence” and cry “guilty”. How often have we been wrong in our judgment? Or better … how often have we been right in our judgment? Then on top of this, it is a heart matter meaning that just to judge someone in your mind and declare them guilty in your mind is the same as pronouncing them guilty with your attitude, body language and mouth.

Mt 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

(1) Do not judge. The word “judge” carries the idea of the one judging being a forensic expert and having forensic evidence that had been gathered in a scientific manner, having used scientific techniques when conducting an investigation, that proves the one judged guilty because guilt can be proved.

(2) Do not judge. “Do not” means something is forbidden. Jesus forbids His people to believe they are qualified to judge others within the Kingdom of God (verse 5) for any matter, especially if it is a petty matter.

(3) Having set a foundation for these verses, verse 1 is extremely provocative. To live this out in the heart means practicing the Ninth Commandment spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Ex 20:16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Our judging another might well lean towards false testimony in most cases of judging.

1) Jesus says the way we treat others, we will be treated. Judge and you will be judged. Then, with the measure you use will be used against you. The theology of verse 2 follows the foundation set in verse 1. The measure you used against your brother or sister will be exacted against you. You used your scientific forensic techniques to gather damning evidence against your fellow believer and found them guilty. However, God’s forensic technique not only matches yours, it is far superior because you look at the outward actions and listen to what others have to say … whilst God look at the heart … your heart and knows its intentions!

Pr 20:27 The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man; it searches out his inmost being.

You collect evidence to judge … God does too and as we will see, He is aware of all hypocrisy!

2) Jesus says you must deal with hypocrisy.

(1) The fundamental problem with all of us is that we view other peoples’ sins as worse than our own. This is hypocrisy! We have this tendency of minimizing personal sin. Here personal forensics dictates that whatever we do is not a huge issue to the point where we trivialize personal sin to be nothing more than a grain of salt … but at the same time we tend to use that same forensics on others and decide their sin is as big as a mountain. That is the picture Jesus paints:

Mt 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

(2) Hypocrisy desires to perform spiritual surgery on the wrong person!

Mt 7:4 “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Are you … am I able to duck and dive and run away from what Jesus is saying in verses 4 to 5? Don’t we always want to perform the surgery on the other person? Don’t we use that sinful forensics to crucify the other person? But our Lord requires spiritual surgery on ourselves. He requires we meet Him at the foot of the Cross to deal with our hypocrisy … our sin … our self-inflated ego! Once we understand our relationship with Jesus is negatively influenced by our attitude towards our spiritual family we will make every effort to deal with the blockage, the shortsightedness, the blurry spiritual mirror through confession … and because we are His, He will pardon and restore us as we prove repentance. It is then that we will be able to go to the brother or sister and in love, confess our incorrect judgement, be forgiven and be reconciled. You see, the bottom line is that it is not the next person’s sin that is the issue before God … it is our sin!

3) Jesus says you must use discrimination. Verse 6 is a puzzling verse and requires some serious thought, doctrine and theology to understand it. Commentators are at odds as to its meaning.

Mt 7:6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.”

Heathen people were considered as unclean and called “dogs” whilst the Jews saw themselves as superior as God’s children. Paul switches this around, giving Jews this name:

Phil 3:2 Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.

Jesus labels all unbelievers as dogs:

Rev 22:15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Pigs were also seen as unclean. How can you take the holy things of God … the Word and the Gospel (pearls), its teaching and application to those outside the Kingdom of Jesus? Once you have repented of a judgmental attitude and you go to unbelievers and seek to help them come away from their sins, they will most likely treat you badly. You need to pray for and apply discrimination as to who you approach and how you approach them. Don’t point out personal sin … share the Gospel because the Gospel is Jesus speaking, whilst pointing out personal and specific sin is you speaking.

Lord Jesus, graciously help me to examine my heart of hypocritical persuasions so that I don’t judge others, leaving all judgment to You. Show me who to share You with. Amen.

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