Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24)Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1)
The Bible says to judge. The Bible says don’t judge.
There is no conflict between judge and don’t judge.
The “judge not” verse (Matthew 7:1) is one of the most quoted verses in the Bible, and one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. For some, it’s the only Bible verse they know and they couldn’t find it if their life depended on it.
It’s like the much-loved verse: “… use a little wine for thy stomach's sake…. (1Timothy 5:23) I was filled in on that verse when I was preaching in rescue missions. Several times a man staggered up to me in the Mission and displayed his knowledge of the Bible to me. He knew the main part of that verse, but he didn’t know where to find it.
Well, I shouldn’t be too hard on the champions of these two verses. There are a lot of verses in the Bible that I have to look up to find and many verses that I have yet to study in depth. That’s why I have to keep reading and studying the Bible and there’s always something to learn.
When I was a teenager I began to hear preachers say: “You can prove anything by the Bible if you remove the verse from its context and define it to suit yourself.” The short verse on “judge not” is one of those verses. I hope you are open to looking at other verses on “judge not” and some serious reading by men who are qualified to make scholarly comments on: “Judge and Don’t Judge.” Better yet, how about opening your Bible to these verses and mark them in your Bible?
THE MacARTHUR STUDY BIBLE comments on this verse: Judge not. As the context reveals, this direction does not prohibit all types of judging (Mat_7:16). We are supposed to exercise a righteous kind of judgment with careful discernment (John_7:24). Censorious, hypocritical, self-righteous, or other kinds of unfair judgments are forbidden; but in order to fulfill the commandments that follow, it is necessary to discern dogs and swine (Mat_7:6) from one's own brethren (Mat_7:3-5).
THE BIBLE KNOWLEDGE COMMENTARY (Dallas Seminary) Comments:
(Luke_6:41-42) A final illustration of Pharisaic practices pertains to judging. The Pharisees were then judging Christ and finding Him to be inadequate. He was not offering the kind of kingdom they anticipated or asking for the kind of righteousness they were exhibiting. So they rejected Him. Jesus therefore warned them against hypocritical judging.
This passage does not teach that judgments should never be made; Mat_7:5 does speak of removing the speck from your brother’s eye. The Lord’s point was that a person should not be habitually critical or condemnatory of a speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye when he has a plank — a strong hyperbole for effect — in his own eye. Such action is hypocritical (You hypocrite, Mat_7:5; cf. “hypocrites” in Mat_6:2, Mat_6:5, Mat_6:16).
Though judgment is sometimes needed, those making the distinctions (krinō, judge, means “to distinguish” and thus “to decide”) must first be certain of their own lives.
Furthermore when seeking to help another, one must exercise care to do what would be appreciated and beneficial. One should never entrust holy things (what is sacred) to unholy people (dogs; cf. “dogs” in Php_3:2) or throw… pearls to pigs. Dogs and pigs were despised in those days.
McGEE HAS THIS TO SAY: These verses have really been misunderstood. To judge can mean "to decide, to distinguish, to condemn, to avenge," and it actually can mean "to damn." These verses do not mean that a child of God is forbidden to judge others, but it does mean that we are not to judge the inward motives of others in the sense of condemning them.
We do not know or understand why a brother in Christ does a certain thing. We see only outward acts. God doesn't forbid our judging wrong and evil actions, as we will see. The point is that if you are harsh in your judgments of others, you will be known as the type of person who is severe in his considerations of others. I know this type of person, and I am sure you do, also. Perhaps somebody has said to you, "Don't pay any attention to what he says; he never has a good word to say." You see, he is being judged by the way he judges. This is what our Lord is saying in these verses.
THE CHURCH AT CORINTH HAD CHRISTIANS GOING INTO ROMAN COURTS, suing one another. Paul addressed that problem like this: Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. (1Corinthians 6:1-4)
So, it is NOT the “Christian” thing to never have an opinion or never to make a judgment about other people in this world. If you have a daughter who is having a date with a young man, you had better judge if your daughter is safe with him. If someone knocks on your door at night and wants to use your phone to call somebody to fix his car, you had better be willing to judge that person and maybe with a gun in your hand. On and on it goes through the complicated maize of everyday living. It is impossible for Christians to avoid making judgments about people.
But, there is a way to do it without being judgmental. If all you want to do is to criticize everybody around you, may the Lord deliver me from you. I don’t want anything to do with that kind of person. Being judgmental and gossiping are no-no’s.
It is important that we study the Bible enough to know what it says about judging and not judging. It is also important that we pray to God to know how to make righteous judgments when it is our duty (yes, our duty) to judge someone. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
NOVEMBER 9, 2017 - THURSDAY
A.M. Jeremiah 51-52 P.M. Hebrews 6
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalm 91:1)
Song for Today:
The Holy Hills Are Calling Me (5:49) (Gaither Group)
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