Matthew 7:1-6

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

JUDGE NOT

INTRODUCTION:

 

We have been looking at the demands of the King in Matthew 4:12-7:29 .

 

The demands of the King include the narrative about Jesus, which includes His public ministry beginning in Capernaum, His call of Peter, Andrew, James, and John, and His early ministry in Galilee. The narrative about Jesus is followed by the sermon on the mount, a section on the demands of the King which concludes with the statement, And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.

 

The sermon on the mount provides principles for life under the rule of heaven. Although the Jews rejected Jesus as their King, the principles are applicable for people living in the New Testament era.

 

In Matthew 7:1-6 , we deal with the subject Do not judge.

 

Jesus instructs those listening to His sermon on the mount (or reading it) to stop judging. He advises them that they will be judged by the same standard by which they are judging others. Furthermore, their ability to perceive the faults in someone else’s life is obscured by their own faults. They should not give holy things to unholy people nor cast their gems of wisdom before vicious people who will turn on them.

 

Matthew 7:1-6 – (1) Judge not, that ye be not judged. (2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (4) Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? (5) Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (6) Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

 

As Bible-believing fundamentalists we have all heard people, who do not like us, quote the words, Judge not. However, they really do not use these words the way the Scripture uses them.

We see –

    I.     THE PRINCIPLE – JUDGE NOT – 7:1A

 

Matthew 7:1 a – Judge not. . . .

 

In verse 1 Jesus urges His listeners not to be judging.

 

Judge not is a command whose tense indicates that its action was already going on and needed to be discontinued in the sense of stop judging. It suggests that some were passing judgment upon others, seeking to influence their lives.

 

It is clear that it is the habit of censorious and carping criticism that Jesus is condemning. It is the hypocritical judgment of others that Jesus is forbidding.

 

What does it mean that we should stop judging or that we should not be continuously judging?

 

It does not mean that no discernment can be made. How do I know? Because the Scripture says:

 

Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

 

You must be able to discern who are meant by dogs and by swine by evaluating them.

 

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 

How can you distinguish false prophets by their fruits without discernment and evaluation?

 

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 

This discernment of some being more noble than others cannot be made without evaluating their reaction to the word of God.

 

Judge not does not mean that no opinion can be expressed. How do I know? Because the Scripture says:

 

Acts 8:18-23 – (18) And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, (19) Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. (20) But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. (21) Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. (22) Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. (23) For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

 

Judge not does not mean that there can be no judging of false doctrine. How do I know? Because the Scripture says:

 

Titus 3:10-11 – (10) A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; (11) Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

 

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

 

II John 9-11 – (9) Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (10) If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: (11) For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

 

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

 

Judge not does not mean that there can be no church discipline. How do I know? Because the Scripture says:

 

I Corinthians 5:9-13 – (9) I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: (10) Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. (11) But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (12) For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? (13) But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

 

Judge not does not mean that there can be no constructive criticism. How do I know? Because the Scripture says:

 

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

 

Matthew 18:15-18 – (15) Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (18) Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 

Thus, judge not does not mean that believers may not exercise the critical faculty which God has given them, by which men are able and expected on specific occasions to make value judgments and to choose between different policies and plans of action. The Scriptures teach otherwise.

 

If judge not does not mean these things, then what does it mean?

 

It does mean that there can be no condemning – passing judgment in a final sense. You do not condemn someone to hell.

 

It does mean that there can be no hyper-critical spirit.

 

It does mean that there can be no constant, nagging, carping, negative, critical, censorious spirit.

 

Now you may be asking yourself, How can I tell if I am guilty of judging others?

 

Let me ask you, Do you always express your opinion without a knowledge of all the facts? If your answer to this is yes, then you may very well be guilty of constantly judging others.

 

Let me ask still another question, Is your criticism leveled more at the person or at the thing he has done? If your answer to this is that your criticism is constantly directed toward the person, especially if you never bother to discuss it with him, then you may very likely be guilty of constantly judging others.

 

Let me ask again, Are you always finding fault with everyone and with everything? If your answer to this is yes, then you may very well be guilty of constantly judging others.

Next, we see –

  II.     THE REASONS PEOPLE SHOULD STOP JUDGING – 7:1B-5

 

We note that we should stop judging others because –

            1.   Judging others brings judgment on ourselves – 7:1b

 

Matthew 7:1 b – . . . That ye be not judged.

 

The purpose for which they were to stop judging others is that ye be not judged.

 

That suggests in order that or for the purpose that.

 

Ye be not judged may refer to judgment made by others in this life. What goes around comes around.

 

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

 

This judgment may instead mean that you not be judged by God inasmuch as someday we will all give an account of ourselves to the Lord.

 

Romans 14:10-12 – (10) But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. (11) For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. (12) So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

 

II Corinthians 5:9-10 – (9) Wherefore we labour [i.e. we make it our aim in life], that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him [i.e. well pleasing to Him]. (10) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad [i.e. whether what we have done is good or worthless].

 

Back to Matthew 7:2

Next, we note that we should stop judging others because –

            2.   Judging others sets the standard for our own judgment – 7:2

 

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

 

Verse 2 explains the reason those judging others should be concerned about being judged.

 

For introduces this explanation.

 

With what judgment ye judge is with what judgment you are judging.

 

Ye shall be judged is you will be judged and indicates that people set the standard by which they will be judged.

 

This same thing is also indicated by and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. It is a second way of saying the same thing.

 

With what measure ye mete is with what measure you are measuring.

 

It shall be measured to you again suggests it will be measured to you in return. It means that whatever measure they give will determine the measure they get in return or that whatever measure they deal out to others will be the same measure which will be dealt to them in return.

 

In addition, we note that we should stop judging others because –

            3.   We are incapable of proper judgment – 7:3-5

 

We are not God; so, are not omniscient. Furthermore, we have old sin natures.

 

                              (1) We are not really concerned about righteousness and true judgment, or we would judge ourselves more severely – 7:3

 

Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

 

In verse 3 Jesus asks why they are so concerned with the faults of others, when they cannot see their own faults. Why are they so concerned with the faults of others when they have faults of their own with which they ought to be concerned?

 

And why beholdest thou? is and why do you see? or and why are you seeing?

 

The mote speaks of something that is very insignificant in the sense of the speck.

 

That is in thy brother’s eye is the speck in the eye of your brother.

 

A brother may be a sibling, a fellow believer, a close associate, or a neighbor.

 

But introduces a statement in mild contrast to the mote in thy brother’s eye.

 

Considerest not is you do not notice (or observe) or you are not noticing (or observing).

 

What the individual addressed is not noticing is the beam, which means the beam of wood. It is a term referring to a piece of heavy timber such as a beam used in roof construction or to bar a door.

 

In thine own eye suggests in your own eye.

 

There is an intentional exaggeration in the size of the speck in the other person’s eye and the size of the beam in our own eyes. This exaggeration is intended to emphasize this teaching.

 

Not only are we are not really concerned about righteousness, but also –

                              (2) Our own condition prevents our helping others – 7:4

 

Matthew 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

 

In verse 4 Jesus asks why someone would think he can help someone else by offering to pull a tiny thing out of his eye when he himself has a much larger thing in his own eye.

 

Or introduces this second question.

 

How wilt thou say? suggests in what way can you say?

 

To thy brother is to your brother where brother may again refer to a sibling, a fellow believer, a close associate, or a neighbor.

 

Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye is what someone with a beam in his own eye might dare to say.

 

Let me pull out is permit (me that) I may take out or allow (me that) I may remove.

 

The mote out of thine eye is the speck out of your eye.

 

And, behold, a beam is in thine own eye suggests and yet the beam (is) in your eye.

 

In addition –

                              (3) We are hypocrites, if we are not really interested in helping someone, but only in condemning him – 7:5

 

Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

 

In verse 5 Jesus addresses the individual who has a beam in his eye who also wants to take a speck out of someone else’s eye. He addresses him as thou hypocrite. It is simply hypocrite or pretender. It was used literally of an actor and came to be used figuratively in the sense of a pretender, i.e. of someone who was pretending to be something or someone he was not.

 

First suggests in the first place or to begin with.

 

Cast out is take out or remove.

 

The beam is the beam of wood. It is the same term used in verses 3 and 4 referring to a piece of heavy timber such as a beam used in roof construction or to bar a door.

 

Out of thine own eye is out of your eye.

 

And then suggests and when (or after) you have removed the beam from your eye.

 

Thou shalt see clearly suggests you will be able to see clearly.

 

To cast out is to take out or to remove.

 

The mote out of thy brother’s eye is the speck out of the eye of your brother.

Finally, we see –

 III.     THE BALANCED DISCERNMENT – 7:6

 

Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

 

In verse 6 Jesus tells His listeners not to give something holy to the dogs or to cast their pearls before the swine lest the swine trample the pearls under their feet and turn and attack the ones who cast the pearls.

 

Give not means do not begin to give or never give.

 

That which is holy is the holy thing.

 

Unto the dogs is to the dogs. Dogs refer to wicked people who set themselves in opposition to the truths of God’s Word.

 

Neither cast is and do not begin to cast (or throw) or and never cast (or throw).

 

Your pearls suggests your valuable (or precious) things.

 

Before swine is before the pigs or in front of the pigs.

 

Lest they trample them under their feet suggests in order that they not trample them (i.e. the pearls) under their feet.

 

And turn again means and having turned around or and after they have turned around.

 

And rend you suggests and tear you in pieces.

 

In helping others care should be taken to do what is really appreciated and helpful.

 

A Jew, as Jesus suggests by the language used in this verse, would not invite a pagan to share his religious feasts, for this would be like throwing meat consecrated for sacrifice to an unclean pariah-dog. These are not nice little house pets. They are scavengers who threaten and snarl. They may even be aggressive.

 

Similarly, something holy should not be thrown to the dogs because they will not appreciate it.

 

A Jew would not risk the criticisms of his Gentile neighbors by placing before them spiritual food which they could not assimilate, for this would be like trying to feed unclean pigs with pearls. The pigs would find the pearls inedible and would trample them under foot and turn savagely upon the ones who gave the pearls.

 

Similarly, the truths that Christ taught, His pearls of great price, must not be broadcast indiscriminately to those who would ridicule and despise them, and become increasingly antagonistic.

 

It suggests that Christ’s disciples must not endlessly continue to bring the gospel message to those who scorn it. To be sure, we are commanded to proclaim the gospel to every creature. However, we are also told in –

 

Titus 3:10 (10) A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; (11) Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

 

Thus, there is a limit. Constant resistance to a gracious invitation to salvation will result in not continuing the witness to this person at this time. Don’t spend all your time on those who are uninterested and antagonistic to the gospel.

 

Find someone else to whom you may witness, and let the other person go. If circumstances change, then you may have another opportunity to go back at some other time.

CONCLUSION:

 

We remind ourselves that we are to interpret Scripture with Scripture.

 

We see that the Scripture teaches that we are not to be judging others. We are not to have a constant, nagging, carping, negative, critical, censorious spirit.

 

However, the Scripture also teaches that we are to be discerning and Scriptural in all our practices.

Scriptures