Background - Matthew 5-7 - Sermon on the Mount
Jesus gives a sermon/teaching on how to internalize the law of God.
Jesus quotes some of the commandments and tells the people that the external obedience to the law is only true obedience if it comes from a sincere heart.
Jesus, the new Moses, stands up on a mount to dictate what could not be put on tables of stone.
1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
What does a Judge do?
κρίνω; to come to a conclusion in the process of thinking and thus to be in a position to make a decision — ‘to come to a conclusion, to decide, to make up one’s mind.’
A judge is person who presides over legal matters.
A judge must SEE and HEAR all the evidence and judge accordingly.
This judge must be as impartial as possible.
If the judge must recuse him/herself if he
knows the defendant,
if he benefits from the outcome unless the judge be accused of bias.
So, if you apply this explanation of what a judge does to our role in judging what would we need in judging?
Listen more than talk
Be an objective judge
A quest to get to the truth and not quick to judge.
Recuse yourself from being a judge if you allow your emotions to cloud your judgement.
Much is invested in judging?
- It requires patience
- investing of our time to really know the truth.
- It requires getting to know the person you want to judge.
Today people make lots of judgments without any willingness to know you.
If you look a certain way you are judged based on your looks. No time to sit and understand.
YOU’LL SEE people attacking other people because they don’t like their beliefs or what they supposedly stand for.
Do these people really take time to know the person?
Has that person seen or heard all the evidence? Have they seen how a person lives, how they were raised?
They’ve already made up their minds about you – you are a xenophobe, homophobe, liberal, conservative, DEM or REPUB.
You’re a lost cause because of your past.
Judged on your religion if you are CATH/SDA/PENT/BUD/HIND/MUSLIM
Judged on your country of origin, “I TELL YOU ALL THOSE PUERTO RICANS ARE ALL THE SAME”
Or have we already made our mind up about a person or a certain group?
Jesus got to know people, the why of their lives.
- Why was Peter so impulsive?
- why were James & John so hot-tempered?
- why Thomas was so doubtful?
- why Judas was so greedy?
- why Mary had been demon-possessed?
- Why Nicodemus was so scared?
When we know more like Jesus, then I could say that our judgment is better, but how many want to claim that we are able to judge like Jesus.
TAKE THE PLANK OUT OF YOUR OWN EYE VS 3-5
3 “Why do you look at 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,’ and behold, the log is 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.
When we want to fix someone else’s life we need to see their imperfections through the eyes of Jesus
HOW ABOUT THIS?
TELL THE PERSON WITH SAWDUST IN HIS EYE TO
HELP YOU WITH YOUR PLANK?
I mean, it looks like the person that needs help is the one with the plank.
If you judge yourself first (I need to get rid of this plank), you’ll ask for help because
WE CAN’T TAKE THE PLANK OUT BY OURSELVES.
We’ll hurt ourselves. We need someone to help us remove the obtrusion, the obstacle, the big problem.
THIS REQUIRES HUMILITY. MAYBE THE PLANK IS OUR PRIDE.
APOLOGIZE for judging them for their sawdust and your plank will begin to fall away. There will be plenty of people to let you know that there’s chunks of a plank to get rid of.
JUDGING THROUGH THE EYES OF JESUS IS A MUST
IF YOU WANT TO CLEAR SOMEONE’S EYES OF SAWDUST
Jesus tells the same people to judge just a few verses below
15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits.
Careful of false prophets, wolves in sheep's clothing, you will know them by their fruits.
fruit bearing can be subjective.
Even fruit can have a bad season.
You may interact with someone who’s going through a bad season, and we make a judgment.
Someone could be going through a good season and we make a judgment.
They have come out of a bad season,
if you know their past you judge them on their bad season.
If you don’t know their past, you just them based on their good season too.
Then you say, so and so is such a nice person and the other person who knows them longer says, “you don’t know the real _______.”
For one person my fruit is good, but to another person my fruit is rotten.
What does that tell you?
Our judgment is never perfect.
We could be totally wrong about a person or a group because of the fruit they show today, not the same tomorrow.
We look at the big picture of their lives.
Can a wolf be converted, be reformed? Yes.
In the meantime we are told to be careful.
Paul gives us some examples about judging
9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.
1 Corinthians 5:1-4
Context:A man is having a sexual relationship w/his father's wife. The church was ignoring this issue out of fear. They didn't want to judge.
They were embarrassed and figured if they addressed it, it would create unnecessary publicity for the church.
Avoiding the issue was as detrimental
Covering up a sin is exhausting and distracts from our life's mission and effects the church's mission.
A judgement had to be made here. Paul had already passed judgment and it was to have this person removed from the church.
HOW JUDGMENTAL OF PAUL
The Church was not holding one of their own accountable.
They weren't doing what was best for the person’s salvation.
A judgement had to be given.
“you are continually in sin, it has been determined that your behavior is abhorrent, you are harming your soul, your family, your church.”
The church should have been in mourning over such a sin, yet Paul says they were proud!
They have tolerated someone who claims to be a brother or sister but is living just like a worldly person.
Following Matthew 18, Jesus tells the proper method of approaching an erring brother/sister.
- Go talk to that person alone.
- Bring someone else to try to win this person over.
- involve the church to win this person over.
I'm guessing this process took place. The erring soul was approached and shared their concern and shock at what is going on.
Person blew him off, "mind your own business. don’t tell me how to live my life, stop being so judgmental, get out of my house.''
Pastor Tim takes elder John to see if two people can convince him. Same story.
Pastor Tim & John go to the elders and say, "what can we do to redeem this man?"
The elders come up w/a plan to invite him to eat and talk about his struggles and what can they do to help him end this relationship.
Man & mom not interested in stopping the behavior.
Everyone goes home, let's just pray for them, it's in God's hands, but they come to church together as if nothing was wrong.
No remorse, no repentance.
The church has done "everything they could".
But according to Paul nothing will wake this couple out of his spell like allowing him to face the consequences of their sin.
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. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
Same Paul, someone caught in sin.
“Restore that person gently.”
Could the 1 Cor 5 adulterer be restored gently? Maybe.
But his refusal to submit took the case to DefCon 3. and gentle wasn't going to work.
Judge carefully. Be watchful lest you tempted to imitate the person you are trying to restore.
As a church we are called to carry each other's burdens.
Am I my brother's keeper? You BET!
There's no "I" in church. We have feared the words “DON'T JUDGE” so much that we have neglected being our brother & sisters’ keeper.
"You Do You" is probably not a good approach in our restoration process.
It's easier to come to our conclusions that the person will do whatever they want while we haven't invested the time, effort, listening, spiritually uplifting, and we end up judging the wrong way.
We've judged that we shouldn't get involved in someone else's business because it's none of my business.
If you were judged with that same kind of judgment you would say,
“NOBODY SEEMS TO CARE”
“they must be OK with what I'm doing.”
If they really cared someone would call, visit, reach out to me."
Beyond that, we carry each other's burdens.
But that's too much, I have my own burdens.
Paul considers this burden-sharing relationship between brothers & sisters in the faith as a fulfillment of CHRIST's LAW.
When we are sharing each other’s burdens are judgment changes to authentic concern for the wellbeing of the community. We judge more like Jesus.
JUDGING THROUGH THE EYES OF JESUS IS A MUST
IF YOU WANT TO CLEAR SOMEONE’S EYES OF SAWDUST
God formed the church for community, accountability, and honesty. We must be willing to submit ourselves to this model of Kingdom life.
Heavenly Father, thank you for teaching us through this sermon, that judging someone hypocritically is such an unhealthy way to live our Christianity. That seeing people through your eyes will give us the proper perspective on how to judge, restore and redeem those who are erring. Help us to see ourselves as you would see us. Sometimes we are our worse enemies, judging and condemning ourselves. Forgive us and give us peace. IJN, Amen.