Sun, 21 July 2019
There is a Bible verse that our culture at-large loves! Even folks that may not be committed to Jesus as Lord are likely to embrace it. They may not know a lot of the Bible, but it’s likely that they’ll know this verse and can probably even quote it.
Here it is: “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).
Why, do you suppose, it’s such a favorite? What about us, what about our culture, and what about that particular verse makes it so popular?
A clue might be found in the results of a survey that was recently conducted. Young adults aged 18 to 40 in the US were asked, “What is the greatest virtue?” You might expect the top answer to be love, or integrity, or humility. But it was none of these.
The number one response was autonomy. Autonomy says, “I will do whatever I want. Nobody can tell me what to do or what not to do.”
Coming in as a close runner-up was tolerance. Tolerance has traditionally said, “Let’s allow for differing opinions or permissible behaviors, even if we disagree.” But now, that traditional definition has morphed to a new stance that says, “Not only must you allow for what I do in my autonomy, you must approve of it.” If you don’t, let’s face it; you’re a hater. You’re intolerant. And, in our day, that just might be the worst sin of all!
These two “virtues” have joined forces. Together they have become a battering ram for behaviors and choices that, frankly, fly in the face of what God has designed and decreed.
Yet this is where Matthew 7:1 comes in so handy. If an action or an attitude is called into question, that particular Bible verse is often trotted out as a foolproof defense: “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
Is that a legitimate use of those words of Jesus? Are we not to “judge” anything, at any time, in any sense? How are we to understand rightly and apply these words of Jesus?
We’ll try to answer those questions this coming Sunday morning at Istrouma. By doing so, we’ll learn how to live better in community with one another under the loving Lordship of Jesus.
If you can’t be with us in person, join us on Istrouma Baptist Church’s Facebook livestream or at www.istrouma.org. Messages are also archived there and can be watched at any time.
“Jesus on Judgment”
Judge not, that you be not judged(7:1).
For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye (7:2-5).
Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you(7:6).