Matthew 7:1-5 / Luke 6:37-42…
Jesus is talking about hypocrisy, about judging others without first judging yourself. These verses are not some sort of justification or defense for irresponsibility, heresy, or wickedness (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). This is about being hypocritical, which ironically, those who use these verses as a universal prohibition against “judging” are guilty of themselves.
Obviously we must make some distinctions. That requires judging things (1 Corinthians 5:12). The whole idea that we are not supposed to judge ideas, behavior, doctrine, faith and practice is more than ludicrous, it is lawlessness. Indeed, in the same chapter Jesus tells us that we will recognize false teachers by their fruit (Matthew 7:20).
In other words we are all judges. We discern who is following Christ in truth and follow them (Philippians 3:17), while putting away some and staying away from others (Romans 16:17-19 / 2 Timothy 3:5 / Titus 3:8-11). We are supposed to judge (John 7:24), we are supposed to discern (Philippians 1:9), but we are supposed to look at ourselves first (1 Corinthians 11:31).
The account in Luke gives us some more detail. Jesus is talking about the good eye and the evil eye again. The person who has a healthy eye will be generous with grace, merciful and mild. People will most often give grace back in return. The person with the bad eye will be full of meanness, hypocritically judging others, and he will receive the same from others. These things are for our training, so that we may be like our Master.
Jesus doesn’t say we cannot help others unless we are perfect, He is telling us that our vision may also become clouded. If you look into the mirror and can’t see who you really are, then you are blind and will lead others into the ditch of deception with you. When you don’t believe that you can be deceived that is when you already are. He says we shouldn’t just be a hearer or a talker but a doer (James 1:23-25).
In other words, Jesus says ministry starts with the mirror.
Labels: Daily Gospel Devotional