WEDNESDAY, JULY 13
Scripture: Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 7:1-5
If we had been listening to Jesus, it would have been much easier to have caught the meaning of Matthew 7 concerning the issue of judging. Jesus began Matthew 6 by teaching about giving. He essentially said “Give, but do not give like the Pharisees, or like the hypocrites.” He then moved to prayer in verse 5. He said, “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites.” In verse 16 He switches to fasting. And He said “…when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites.” When we get to Matthew 7:1, it is obvious He is emphasizing a theme and the theme was all of the issues that the leaders taught and did not do. Jesus was exposing their hypocrisy. Now we have taken it out of context to mean, “Whatever you do, do not judge.” But that is not what Jesus was teaching at all. We have to make judgments every day – over good and evil whether to avoid or participate in it. Jesus was not saying “Do not judge,” He was saying “Judge, but do not judge like the hypocrites.” And of course, that is Matthew 7:5, “Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Judging has always been an essential for every Christian and the truth of Matthew 7 is that we have to be able to stand in the fire we call down. We dare not judge something of which we ourselves are guilty. That was the mistake of the hypocrites, and Jesus caught them.