"THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"
Judging Others (Mt 7:1-6)
1. In Mt 6:1-34 , we saw the righteousness of the kingdom with respect
to MAN'S RELATIONSHIP TO GOD...
2. In Mt 7:1-12 , we will examine the "righteousness of the kingdom"
with respect to MAN'S RELATIONSHIP TO MAN...
3. Three subjects are discussed in this section:
a. Judging others - Mt 7:1-6
b. Asking, Seeking, & Knocking - Mt 7:7-11
c. The Golden Rule - Mt 7:12
[We begin, then, with the matter of judging others, noticing at first
verses 1-2 which are frequently misused...]
I. VERSES 1-2 ARE OFTEN USED TO FORBID ALL MANNER OF JUDGMENT
A. FOR EXAMPLE, ANY ADVERSE OR UNFAVORABLE CRITICISM...
1. Such as pointing out a fault in someone else
2. Even if it be truly "constructive" criticism
B. FOR EXAMPLE, THE EXERCISE OF CHURCH "DISCIPLINE"...
1. Exercising discipline of any sort does require judging others
as to their moral or spiritual condition
2. Since such "judgment" is involved, some feel verses 1-2 rule
out any sort of church discipline
C. OR EVEN EXPOSING THOSE WHO TEACH ERROR...
1. Admittedly, it requires making a judgment in order to consider
whether someone is teaching in error
2. Therefore, some people, in light of verses 1-2, believe that
we cannot speak out against those who teach error
II. JESUS CANNOT BE RULING OUT "ALL" FORMS OF JUDGING
A. THE IMMEDIATE CONTEXT OF THIS PASSAGE REVEALS THAT IN SOME
CASES PROPER JUDGMENT MUST BE MADE...
1. Mt 7:6 implies that some judgment is to be made as to who are
"dogs" and who are "hogs"
a. Otherwise, how can we know when not to give that which is
holy to "dogs"?
b. Or how can we know when not to cast our pearls before
2. Mt 7:15-20 implies that we must make judgments in determining
who is a false teacher ("by their fruits you will know them")
B. THE REMOTE CONTEXT OF THE SCRIPTURES SPEAKS OF TIMES WHEN JUDGMENT
MUST BE MADE
1. On another occasion, Jesus taught people to "judge with
righteous judgment" - Jn 7:24
2. Christians have a responsibility to "judge those who are
inside" the local congregation - 1 Co 5:9-13
3. We are taught by the apostle of love (John) to "test the
spirits" (which requires making judgments) - 1 Jn 4:1
[There is not a contradiction here, for as we continue on in our text,
we notice that...]
III. JESUS EXPLAINS WHAT KIND OF JUDGING HE IS CONDEMNING
A. JUDGING WHEN ONE IS BLIND TO HIS OR HER OWN FAULTS (Mt 7:3-5)
1. Jesus is saying "that is it wrong for anyone to concentrate
his attention on the speck in his brother's eye, and while
thus occupied, to ignore the beam in his own eye" (HENDRIKSEN)
2. Paul taught the necessity of proper "introspection" when trying
to help others - Ga 6:1
B. JUDGING WITHOUT MERCY AND LOVE...
1. "The Lord is here condemning the cruel spirit of those
judging harshly, self-righteously, without mercy, without love
as also the parallel passage (Lk 6:36-37) clearly indicates."
2. James warns against making judgments without mercy - Ja 2:13
a. If we make judgments without showing mercy, then no mercy
will be shown when we are judged.
b. Just as Jesus said in verse 2...
1) "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged"
2) "With the same measure you use, it will be measured back
IV. JESUS IMPLIES THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE "MUST" MAKE JUDGMENTS.
A. IT IS AFTER WE HAVE CORRECTED OUR OWN FAULTS (v5)
1. First, we must remove the beam from our own eye
2. But when we have done so, we are able to see, discern (judge),
and be of help to others who are overcome in their faults
3. Indeed, the law of Christ requires us to. - cf. Ga 6:1-2
B. WE MUST JUDGE BETWEEN THOSE WORTHY AND THOSE WHO ARE "HOGS AND
1. With those who are receptive, we are to be long-suffering in
trying to help them come out of their error - cf. 2 Ti 2:24-26
2. But for those who are not, we are not to waste what is good and
holy on them.
a. Cf. the instructions of Jesus to His disciples - Mt 10:12-15
b. Cf. the example of Paul and Barnabas at Antioch of Pisidia
- Ac 13:42-46
3. Determining who is which requires "judgment" upon our part.
1. The kind of judging forbidden by Jesus is that which LENSKI calls
"self-righteous, hypocritical judging which is false and calls down
God's judgment on itself."
2. This is the kind of judging that was also condemned by James when he
"Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil
of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and
judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of
the law but a judge."
"There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who
are you to judge another?"
- Ja 4:11-12
3. May God help us to refrain from such judging, and be more apt to
remove the "beams" from our own eyes; for only then will we be useful
in helping others with their problems...
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