- Sermon Notes
Intro: Can’t handle it?
This morning, we are going to look at what Jesus has to say to His followers about judging one another. There was a way in His day that the religious leaders had functioned and it was all based upon what was happening outwardly. Judgements of another could be easily made based upon what was done before man, but we know, and Jesus continues to make it clear, that God looks at the heart. We remember in Matthew 5:20 that Jesus referred to a righteousness that was greater than that of Scribes and the Pharisees, who were in that day regarded as the standard of righteousness.
After pointing us personally toward living for an audience of one, and away from a life centered on earthly treasures and worry about tomorrow. Jesus now points us away from the judgmental attitude that had become prominent in the religious leaders of His day, and toward a new point of view, taking the focus off of interpersonal judgement and toward His heart of restoration in the way we think of and treat others.
Read: Matthew 7:1-5
Regarding judging, Jesus gets right to the point for His followers. Essentially, when an individual or group of people develop their own standards of religion and morality, they judge everyone by those beliefs and standards. While this may have been true of what His followers had seen up to this point, Jesus was speaking for change. His sermon was given to those listening and for us today, to drive us toward Jesus, and direct us in Christ. As Jesus’ disciples give their hearts to Him, they move toward a new point of view, taking on His heart of restoration toward others.
I. Do Not Be Judgmental
Matthew 7:1, Do not judge so that you will not be judged.
- Certainly, there are many ways in which the term “judge” can be understood.
- In this passage, it is referring to the private, judgmental attitudes that judge a person to the point of condemnation.
- It is when you are tearing down another person by your judgement.
- It is not referring to judging in the court of law, or a statement against critical thinking or discernment.
- Many might throw around the phrase “don’t judge,” assuming that Jesus is commanding universal acceptance of any lifestyle or teaching.
Matthew 7:15-16, Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits…
- Certainly, this requires discernment and assessment.
- Jesus also encourages to caution and advise others who are going the wrong way in order to help them.
- Paul instructs the early church to keep an eye on those who cause division in the church (Rom. 16:17).
- Certainly, there are many additional examples where Paul talks about how to deal with those who choose immorality (1 Cor. 5:1-5) and those who come with teaching contrary to the Gospel (Gal. 1:8).
- There is a need to discern, evaluate and make certain judgement calls. Specifically judging between right and wrong for yourself based upon seeing certain decisions of another.
- It is wrong to judge someone to the point of condemnation, however.
Illus. Walk a mile in my shoes.
- Certainly, there are those who are slipping and sliding and we walk alongside them, but if I judge, it needs to be for identification and restoration, not condemnation.
- If I am not willing to take part in restoration, I am likely on the wrong side of condemning that person.
Illus. In Luke 22 and John 13, we get a picture of the Lord’s supper. Surely Jesus had noticed that their feet were dirty. Did he condemn them? No, He rose up and began to wash their feet.
- We are to show unconditional love, it does not mean unconditional approval, or agreement.
- Certainly, right and wrong is real, there are standards Jesus has given. But we can love people who do things that should not be approved of with a heart toward restoration.
- We break this command: When we think the worst of others, speak only to their faults, when we judge an entire life by its worst moments, when we aim to judge hidden motives, when we do not put ourselves in their situation, when we are not mindful that we too will be judged.
A.Check your measurement
- Jesus points out that the standard of judgement we hold others to is the same standard for us.
Matthew 7:2, For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, if will be measured to you.
- This being true, it is critically important that when looking at other, you check your measurement.
- Why? Because God will measure unto us according to the same measure we use for others. And the judgement we give to others, we will also receive from others.
- It is the opposite of the Golden Rule, we should not treat others the way we do not want to be treated.
- It was taught in Jesus day that God had two measures that He used to judge people. One was a measure of justice and the other, a measure of mercy. Whichever a person preferred, they would then give. Err on the side of grace and mercy!
Matthew 5:7, Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Illus. Falling off the bull.
- Does your awareness of failure mirror the standard you have set in your own life?
James 2:13, For judgement will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgement.
- Certainly, the Lord has had mercy on us, this scripture however, is talking about the mercy we have towards others.
- When we ourselves have been given great mercy, we, like the Lord, should have mercy on others rather than withholding it.
- If you want to be judged, go on judging. If you want mercy, give mercy with a heart toward restoration.
Luke 6:37-38, Do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon and you will be pardoned. Give, and it will be given to you, they will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.
- In both Matthew 7:2 and Luke 6:37-38, Jesus uses the picture of measuring grain in a basket to ensure the full amount.
- If you are harsh, full of gossip, judgmental, and critical; that measure will return.
- Some judge another person, assuming that Jesus agrees with the judgement. But He doesn’t, Jesus says check your measurement.
Romans 14:4, Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Illus. Which do you love the most?
Luke 15:4, What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
- Are some lost? Sure, but we must be continually reminded that the Lord loves us when we need Him most. His heart is to restore, to bring back, not to condemn.
- Since we are his disciples, we need to check our measurement toward others.
A.Look toward restorationMatthew 7:3-5, Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 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.
- The picture here is one with a log or plank in their eye, obstructing their view and inhibiting their ability to function.
- That person, tries to help another person who has a speck or splinter in their eye, potentially from the same material.
Illus. What might this look like?
- Some, with a log or plank, go around and look for the speck in the eye of another while ignoring what is in their eye.
Illus. When the religious leaders brought the woman caught in adultery before Jesus, she had certainly sinned; but their sin was a plank and Jesus said, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone (John 8:7).”
Illus. Closing time…You missed a spot!
- Are you willing to remove what is in your way so that you can see what He sees?
- Jesus is not telling us not to help, He is saying to be sure you aren’t pointing out splinters that came off the beam in your own eye.
- We should certainly help those who have a “speck” in their eye, but not before dealing with the plank in ours.
- Jesus is pointing toward the heart and attitude of a kingdom citizen, one who is poor in spirit (5:3), who hungers and thirst for righteousness (5:6) and mourns over his own sin first (5:4).
- When we confess our own sin, and ask God for His forgiveness, we see our own sin and that of others not with condemnation, but restoration in heart and mind. A new point of view, looking toward restoration.
Galatians 6:1, Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
- The world wants to reveal, the spiritual man wants to restore. “One mistake away.”
Psalm 51:10, 13, Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to you.
- Once you allow the Lord to do His work in you, you will work with His point of view toward others.