Jesus and Judging Others: His Comments On One of Our Favorite Things To Do

Posted: December 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Luke 6:37-42 — Like a fine wine that needs to age, we need to take our time on this passage to get it full flavor and benefit. Jesus says, “Judge not and you will not be be judged.” That’s tough one. What did Jesus mean? Are we not judge at all? Are we supposed to let anything pass as OK? Are we supposed to just accept any behavior? Christians seem to have a reputation for doing the opposite of what Jesus says. We are for the most part considered a judgmental lot by the unbelieving world. But does Jesus really mean that we are just supposed to accept everything and stand for nothing?

That’s a loaded question for sure. I think if we just took this statement at face value without context then it would seem that Jesus would be saying to judge not all at all. It would then become contradictory to Jesus’ own actions when it came to the Pharisees. Since Jesus was perfect, and Scripture is perfect, we must dig deeper into what Jesus is saying. In the context of this whole passage, Jesus was saying that the only way that we should judge others is the manner in which we would want others to judge us. How do we want others to judge us? We want others to not make rash judgments about us. We want others to judge us only after careful consideration.

Have you ever been a subject of a rumor back in high school? Or for that matter, have you ever been accused of something that wasn’t true? Have you ever been a part of a real life situation that you see on TV where the truth only comes out in the end. We should never classify and write off a person without considering the facts and circumstances. How do we get to know the facts and circumstances? By getting to know the person well. If you get to know the person. There may be reasons for why a person is in a situation that they are. It humanizes them. It is harder to judge a person when you know them. Passing on rumors are easy. Judging people you do not know is easy.

The German people in World War II fell prey to judging others by simply accepting a premise laid out there by the government. It was easy to blame the Jews for the economic problems which made it easier to the government to do what it did. It was easy to judge the black man as evil prior to desegregation and the changes of the 60s. We didnt have to get to know them. It is easy to call a high school girl a tramp than that it is to be her friend. It is easy to start a riot and loot and steal over a man getting shot by a policeman for stealing and refusing to stop when told to than to understand the facts. It is easy shun someone who has committed adultery than to try to understand the underlying causes so that you can help possibly save a marriage or at least salvage the souls of two hurting people. It is easier to judge illegal immigration as bad but yet not be willing to do the kinds of jobs that they are willing to do.

We should walk a mile in someone’s shoes, as the old saying goes, before we judge them. We must withhold judgement until we have given careful consideration to the facts and circumstances. Yes, we should hold people accountable for their actions but we should just with the same measure of justice that we would want for ourselves. Our judgements of others should be not to write-off but to reconcile. When we hold others accountable for their unbiblical actions it should not be to shove them out the doors of our churches but rather to show them the error of their ways with an eye to reconciliation. This is the way we wished we would be judged ourselves when we do things that are unscriptural and we do not see it.

Jesus wants us to be in relationship with others. Jesus wants us to know the facts and circumstances so that we can judge the spirit of a man rather than simply judging his actions. Jesus wants us to judge others with the same level of forgiveness, the same level of love, the same level of mercy that we want for ourselves. If we show no mercy to others, why should they show mercy to us. Think about that the next time, you see that girl at school who dresses differently, is a little too friendly with the boys, and is just different. Get to know her. Find out why. Think about that the next time someone has a moral failure in your community. Think about it next time…. Before you judge someone, think about how you want to be judged for your own moral failures. All of us have them. Some are just more public than others. Show them the same mercy that you want to shown. Love them with the same love that you wan to be loved before you jump to judgment.

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