1 “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? 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 then turn and tear you to pieces.
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Heb 9:27 “Just as man is destined to die once and after that to face judgment…”
This is one sentence. If the first part is true, then the second part is also true.
Our Lord and King closed this important sermon on the Mount with the subject of judgment. Chapter 7 is the story of judgment.
3 different judgments.
- Our judgment of ourselves (1-5)
- Our judgment of others (6-20)
- God’s judgment of us (21-29)
God doesn’t forbid us to judge others. It is important. Christian love is not blind. “…your love should abound in knowledge so that you may discern the wisdom of God and be blameless…”
Imagine, if we believe everything and accept everyone who is “spiritual” we will experience great confusion. BUT, before we judge others, we must first judge ourselves.
v.1 “Do not judge, or you will be judged.”
Remember: we shall be judged.
The tense of the verb = “once for all” final judgment. When we judge others, we are preparing for ourselves that final judgment. We must judge ourselves to see if we truly believe in Jesus or not – because that will determine our destiny.
1 Cor 1:5? “Test yourselves and see if Jesus Christ is in you… Do not fail the test.”
#2: Other people are judging us right now, continually (v.2) “in the same way you judge,you will be judged.”
Luke 6:37-38 Parable “Do not judge and you will not be judged, not condemn, give and it’ll be given to you. A good measure poured out…with the same measure you use, it will be poured out on you.”
We receive from others exactly what we give to them. We reap what we sow. Judging others = judging ourselves more.
#3: We must see clearly to help others. (v. 3-5)
Interesting but serious. “Why do you look at the sawdust and ignore your own plank?”
The purpose of self judgment is to prepare us to help others. We are obligated to help each other to grow in grace and faith. If we do not judge ourselves, we hurt ourselves and those we minister to.
In judging others, at least three things we should know:
#1: You never know the whole fact, behind the story – every person has something good in them.
Our task is not to condemn from superficial unloveliness, but look for the underlying beauty.
There is a big difference between speck and plank.
#2: It is impossible for any person to be perfectly impartial in his/her judgment.
Only the perfectly impartial has the right to judge – only God can judge. No human can say “I am perfectly impartial.”
#3: No one is good enough to judge anyone else.
Only the faultless person has the right to find faults in others.
Please look at your neighbor’s eye. If you see blue, it means your eye glasses are blue. If you see a speck in his, yours has a plank. After we take the plank from our own eye, if we see his eye, there is no more speck.
“You hypocrite!” – whoever criticizes, judges others to make himself look good. But we Christians should help others to make THEM look good. We cannot criticize others unless we are prepared to get judged in the very same situation.
BUT, sometimes we must judge others.
Homework: We should NOT judge others, but we should judge others. (Exercise your discernment).
Not everyone is a sheep. Some are dogs, some are pigs, some are wolves.
As God’s people, we are privileged to handle the Holy things of God, because he has entrusted to us His holy Word. 2 Cor 2:7? “We have this treasure in jars of clay…”
In the OT time, no priest would throw holy food to dogs, or a purse to pigs.
We must not cheapen/belittle this gospel by a ministry that lacks discernment.
Our remaining task is to preach the gospel to the world, but we must be very careful. We should notice Jesus, our Lord and King. He met individuals needs according to their spiritual conditions. He didn’t use a memorized speech for every person. He spoke of “living water” to the Samaritan woman. He spoke in context. He refused to answer bad questions by the Pharisees.
A wise Christian will first observe the heart of the other person before sharing the gospel with them.
It may be sometimes impossible to talk to someone else about Christ – they are blind, hard, intellectually proud, skeptical, mocking – they will immediately reject anything. But at the same time, it is always possible to show them Christ.
The weakness of the church is NOT in the lack of good arguments, but rather the lack of good LIVES. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern the will of God, his good and pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2?
- Don’t give dogs what is sacred.
- Don’t give pearls to pigs.
We must judge others not to condemn, BUT to be able to minister to them more wisely.
Next, Jesus gives us a resource.
v. 7-11 Ask, Seek, Knock
“How much more…” do you believe the word of Jesus? Why does he discuss prayer NOW again? This is the direct sermon of Jesus on the Mount in chapter 5-7. There was no division of chapters and verses in the original Bible. This sermon was not divided into “parts” as it is in today’s Bible. This is ONE sermon and it contains ONE main subject: prayer.
It has 107 verses and 22 verses = prayer. So more than 20% of this sermon is about prayer.
- chp 5: “Pray for those who persecute you…”
- chp 6: “When you pray…” Lord’s prayer
- chp 7: “Ask, seek, knock…”
It is very simple and clear for true Christians: we are to pray.
Christian life = prayer
“A Christian life without prayer is like a human life without breath.”
Heavenly life on earth is possible with prayer.
We are human, fallible, and make many mistakes. So we need to pray and ask for wisdom and direction (James “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask and God will give graciously…”)
Young king Solomon knew he lacked wisdom, so he prayed to God, and God graciously, generously answered him. If we are to have spiritual discernment in our ministry, we must KEEP ON asking, KEEP ON seeking, KEEP ON knocking.
- Ask = one question
- Seek = question, question, question, question
- Knock = seek, seek, seek, seek, seek.
God and Creation = he said “very good.” All that God is, does, has, gives is GOOD. If you receive an answer to your prayer, rejoice and give thanks. If there is no answer, rejoice and give thanks more. If there is no answer, he is preparing BETTER than what you ask because he KNOWS deeply what you need more.
Guiding principle in verse 12:
“Therefore (as a result) do to others what you would have them do to you.”
This sentence = Golden Rule, Pinnacle of Social Ethics, Capstone of all Discourse.
Some religions also teach the negative version of this verse as their highest value.
- Confuscius said, “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”
- Judaism “Do not do to others whatever is harmful to you – whatever you hate to receive.”
- Jesus’ teaching = totally NEW here.
Is it difficult or easy to NOT do to others what we DON’T want? Soooo easy. If I give NOTHING to others, then I’m keeping this principle perfectly.
Very easy only logically, but not practically. We know that the humans around us are not doing this. They act wrongly (traffic) but don’t want to have other act wrongly toward them. They cheat and don’t want others to cheat them.
Sometimes we may be not different from them by nature. If this is true/so, then HOW difficult it is to DO to others what we WANT done to ourselves. Totally impossible for us – but possible in Jesus Christ. In human history, only Christ Jesus has the ability to say this truthfully.
Don’t misunderstand Christianity. It is NOT a religion out of many other religions made by man. It is a living relationship with Jesus. It is LIFE in Christ. It is where we give and show others what we have already received from God.
As a Christian, what are you giving? What are you showing to others?
Final question: By what you are showing/giving to others, do they recognize you as a child of God?
Only Jesus Christ is our Very Golden Rule. Only in Christ can it be done. The Christian life is the channel of Christ’s life. Galatians “I have been crucified with Christ. The life I live, I live no longer in the body but by faith in Jesus Christ.