Thursday, November 14, 2013

Matthew 7:1-5 "Judge not, that you be not judged....." What does this really mean?

"“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.  And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." Matthew 7:1-5.

This has to be the most misused and misconstrued scripture in the Bible. I have seen people mention other scriptures in the Bible as being "The most misinterpreted scripture in the Bible", and I agree there are many scriptures in the Bible that are used out of context at an alarming rate; but Matthew 7:1-5, specifically verse one of the chapter, is so often misemployed that if it were possible for a scripture to lose it's validity or value based on how many times it's been misused, this one would be as valuable as monopoly money.  Even persons, who claim the Bible is just filled with fairytales, are still for some reason partial to this particular scripture. So, surprisingly, or maybe not so much of a surprise, it's the go-to scripture for many persons who don't even profess the Christian faith. Why is that? Is it just a tool to brush off "Bible Thumpers" from sharing the truth, or is it simply based upon truly feeling you have been judged wrongfully and you want to serve it to whomever it was that judged you, so you hit them with Matthew 7:1-5 and assure yourself that that should silence that person?

 A good way to get a better understanding on something you're uncertain about is to ask questions. So, let's take a closer look at this scripture, starting with the first three verses, by asking a few basic questions.

What many people neglect about this Matthew 7 "judge not" scripture, which has been overused and misused to death might I add, is that Jesus shows us that although having a log in your eye and telling somebody about their speck is indeed hypocritical, the log in a person's eye can be removed. Now after it is removed what next? Well, I have seen people say that it now means you're free to go and judge people, but that would actually be a contradiction of this very scripture. What it means is that when the log is removed from your eye now you are able to (SEE) and (HELP) out your brother who is blind. The log is removed so you can help the person to remove the speck in his/or eye. I have noticed that the log and the plank indicate two very very important things in Matthew 7, and that is that both parties are blind, (but) by saying that after the log is removed you can then take the speck out of the person's eye, means that the blindness is not permanent, it can be healed in both parties. People forget the most important part of the Matthew 7 judgement message and that is the healing of blindness. 

Now after you have been cured of your own blindness (plank/log removed) now you can go ahead and (help) your brother out who is still blind. Now here's the big question how exactly does a person who has regained their sight (log removed) now help the person who is still blind (speck in their eyes)? Is it by encouraging them to continue in sin? No. Is it by walking on eggshells around the elephant in the room which is their sin? No. Is it by justifying sins? No. You help the person remove the speck from their eyes by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them, it is Jesus who healed you from your blindness (log in eye) and not you yourself really, so it is He who can do the same for them if they would except that they're a sinner, confess their sins and turn away from them and believe in Jesus Christ who washes us clean of our sins no matter what it was. 

But here is the BIGGEST issue with evangelising today that I have noticed. The people who remain blind, naturally because they're are blind, do not see anything wrong with their lives, as far as they're concerned they're a "good person" which weirdly enough even though they may say "we all have sinned and have fallen short" they still think they're good in spite of actually admitting to have fallen because of sin, which is actually a contradiction not too many see, and in spite of what scripture says about the things they we daily & and how we will not inherit the kingdom of heaven aka not go to heaven if we continue in the sin that easily besets us. Which I have to point out (WE) have (ALL) thought that way at one point or the other, in error, those who have since repented, (hence the log that was once in our own eyes).

But in spite of all of that many still don't realize they think and reason and justify their sins the way they do because they're still blinded (speck still intact), but when you who have been healed of your own blindness try to guide this person through the truth, the word of God presented in the Bible, to where they can also be healed of their blindness this help is immediately greeted with that person saying that you're judging them. Even if you (NEVA EVER) even mention any sin by name, I have noticed that many will still call you judgemental, sometimes it's simply for approaching them about Jesus. These days any type of reproof or admonition through the word of God is considered judgement. So what do ya do then as an evangelist? Personally, after I have shared the truth with a person, sharing with them what is written in scripture and they have rejected it due to their blindness, I just pray for them. There really is no way of getting around a misused Matthew 7, all you can do is do the work of an evangelist like Paul told Timothy and keep it moving. If somebody calls me judgemental I'm at the point where it's like you know what, I knew you would say that and that will not stop me from sharing the truth with you out of Godly love and brotherly kindness, but if you reject it just know that you have rejected He who has sent me. God is still the same yesterday today and forever, so this still stands, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.


Brenda said...

Hi Sateigdra,
I agree absolutely with the fact that someone who has taken the 'plank' out of their own eye is the best one to help someone remove the 'speck' from their eye. If we have empathy then we will have sympathy. I believe that people who are in certain jobs helping people to get back on track in this world should have had the experiences that the people they are trying to help are going through. Then the healing is done through encouragement not dictating. It is lovely to see you back blogging.

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

Hey Brenda, I agree with everything you said. Thanks so much for reading. I hope all is well with you.Been keeping you in my prayers. :-)

T-Childs said...

My sweet sister in Jesus, Sateigdra, and my sweet sister in Jesus, Brenda!

This is very topical for me at the moment. You seem to have a very good grasp of scripture and are able to analyse it carefully and always in context, erring on the side of mercy and love. I am undergoing trials and correction at the moment and am in a church group because I have issues I need to deal with and because this is my way into church and getting face to face fellowship. I have literally so much sin and guilt within me that I now would never judge another person because who knows why any of us sin, make mistakes and commit evil acts? We are all disobedient when we sin whatever we do. That is what grieves God first: that we are disobedient.

I have always known that people who are harshly judgemental about others are the first to demand fairness and tender treatment and understanding when they themselves are caught up in something sinful or do something wrong. I also believe that when we harden our hearts unmercifully against other people and judge them harshly, even when there might be mitigating circumstances, it is often that the harshness we use against others falls back on us, but not just by God but because a person starts to judge themselves harshly too in some way and starts to feel unhappy and depressed because the high standards they have set cannot be lived up to. It is then that such a person's cruelty literally becomes their own torturer, their own conscience becomes their cruel judge.

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

Hey Tim, I agree. And I can kind of relate to where you said that a person's own conscience can become a cruel judge. My conscience has really been serving it to me. I guess it's really just conviction because I'm trying to live up to the standard Christ set and I guess whenever I do something I know isn't right it really bothers me. And I end up feeling really bad about it.

Thanks so much for dropping by Tim :-) My awesome brother in Christ Jesus. :-)

Susan said...

When my focus is myself, I see my shortcomings, my sins, my past hideous failings, but when my focus remains on Jesus, I see forgiveness, grace and healing and love...the Pharisees thought they were righteous of their own works, they didn't see that only the outside of their cup was clean while the inside (hidden from others but not from God) was filthy. If they would have their inside of their cups cleaned they had to admit their guilt, but they wouldn't do it. They would rather keep pointing at others and say "At least I'm not like him (or her)"...and that is something I still do as well, and it is wrong. We all have sinned, still sin, and will sin, but the forgiveness of God cleanses us from all sins, by His blood, not so we can "Lord it over others" but so we can show others the way to that healing fountain. <3