This morning we entered into the final chapter of Jesus' ground breaking sermon. It's interesting that he begins chapter 7 with such a controversial teaching. He starts saying...
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
The conversation was super interesting. This is probably the most quoted section of Jesus' sermon today because of the fear we all have of judging others. Nobody wants to enter into a relationship where they might endure the same scrutiny they put on someone else. It's crazy!!
But one thing Jesus didn't say is that we are called to NEVER JUDGE.
There is a place in the world where it's ok to juge the nature of mankind. We just need to make sure we don't call someone on an issue we're also dealing with. But it doesn't make it wrong to look at someone and make a judgement on their behavior.
Too often we are scared to reach out and put our neck on the line for something that is right and true in fear of our own judgment. We need not sit on the sidelines and wait. Jesus calls us to be careful in our judgement, and in consistency with the temperature of the day; religious leaders are the ones' to be super CAREFUL!!
Interestingly enough, he also takes special consideration for us to recognize the audience of people we think we are in judgement of. It makes no sense to judge people who have no initial base line for what we might think is true and right. Heathen are heathen because....well....they're heathen. We mustn't be a people who impose our judgement on people who don't hold to the same standard.
This is a different Kingdom all together, and until we see Jesus' words as an open invitation to a different citizenship, we'll continue being those who are on "the wide path" that leads to destruction.