You Can't Judge Me
In light of walking through Matthew 5-7 over the past month in our sermon series: The Kingdom in Matthew, I wanted to share a few thoughts on Matthew 7:1-5, one of the most misquoted and abused passages of Scripture.
A while back, I read yet another Facebook quote about not judging others from a Christian artist that I actually really like. He's edgy, counter-cultural (in terms of what most other Christian artists are producing) and has some great, thought-provoking lyrics. Honestly though, I'm really wondering if people have searched out Scripture without a predisposed slant on the subject, or if we're all content to just puppet the language of pop culture.
Among Christ-followers, the question is not do we/ do we not judge?
The central issue is whether we judge with the standard of Christ, and if we are willing to hold ourselves up to the same measure.
We all fall short, but Christ did not redeem us so we could throw off his rule and authority (Titus 2:14). To judge not is to embrace lawlessness. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, but grace calls us to more and gives more than the law ever could. Grace SHOULD change our heart, our affections, our desires as God's Spirit fans the flames of obedience.
We need to stop proof-texting, drop the language of culture (which says "don't judge") and judge rightly.
Considering the Sermon on the Mount is a discourse in which Jesus reveals that he is the standard of righteousness (Matt. 5:10-11, 17), Matthew 7:1-5 is telling us to throw off our own fleshly manufactured sense of judgment and embrace the right measure of judgment (already revealed in Matt. 5-6). Here's a hint: The person looking at you in the mirror is most certainly not the standard. Only Jesus fits that bill.
I don't judge an unbelieving world that is not empowered by the Spirit of God with new affections, new desires, new motives and a new mission.
I judge myself according to Christ, and with a view to restoration, I have every right to judge my brother according to the same measure (1 Cor. 5:12-13).
Let's be countercultural on this one. Let's drop the "we can't judge" language and hold up the righteous standard of Jesus Christ. Amen?!