The Word This Week

Matt 7:1…

Now in the Sermon on the Mount we come to the Bible verse it seems everyone on earth knows.

It is the basis of the wrong-headed notion, “Don’t judge me man!”

The Greek word Jesus employs for ‘judge’ or ‘judgment’ literally means ‘to condemn,’ or ‘to punish,’ or ‘to avenge.’

Discernment of sin is not what Jesus is talking about. To not assess one situation as better than another is not what Jesus is talking about.

How can we be ‘salt and light’ without ‘judging’ or discerning a situation we are to be ‘salt and light’ into or for? You cannot view our culture without rightly discerning there is evil taking place all around us, and - if given the opportunity – to speak out about it.

On a personal level, the same thing is true.

But what Jesus is saying is before you condemn someone for their sin, understand the sin you practice condemns you. And it certainly is the height of hypocrisy to condemn someone for their sin when you are practicing sin in your life. This is what the religious leaders in Jesus’ time were doing, and I suppose it is what legalistic religious leaders still do.

The giant “plank” of sin in your own “eye” obscures how you see sin in others. When you have become ‘blind’ to your own sin you have no right to condemn sin in others. You are disqualified from making those kinds of ‘judgments.’

Here we have Jesus speaking of proportion. Blinded by our plank of sin, and perhaps burdened or hardened by it, we can begin to nitpick what we see in others to keep the plank in our eye invisible to others. But it isn’t, and that is a huge problem.

We are always to deal with our own sin first. THEN we become capable of seeing correctly to help someone else deal with theirs.

Pastor Bill