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This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Patternists: Does Jesus Condemn Judging?

judge

The answer to the question before us? Jesus certainly does condemn judging! Note Matthew 7:1, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” The problem is that people think the question to be simple, when it is actually more complex.

Jesus’ words in Matthew 7 are not a blanket condemnation of judging, or else we would have Him contradicting Himself. In John 7:24 he told the people “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

The context of Matthew 7 shows that the judgment condemned is hypocritical judgment. I look for the speck in my friend’s eye, when there is a plank in my own eye (vs. 3). We are to remember that any standard of judgment we use will “measured back” to us (vs. 2). Judging another in a small thing when I stand condemned in a greater thing is to be a hypcocrite, and brings God’s judgment upon me.

Consider however, the Christian needs to judge every day! Look at the very context of Matthew 7. Jesus told the people in verse 6, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine.” His admonition requires that one judge which men are dogs and swine. He also requires such judgment to be righteous.

In verse 15 Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets.” He went so far as to say that they “come to you in sheep’s clothing.” How can we identify them without judging? We can’t! Again, our judgment must be righteous. Remember Jesus’ words, “Do not judge according to appearance.” Instead, Jesus said in verse 20, “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”

Jesus requires obedience from His disciples. Judging others when you yourself are not living in accord with His will is to act the hypocrite. When we of necessity do judge, we are to judge actions (as they relate to God’s will), not appearance or hearts.

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