SUGGESTED VERSES FOR MEMORIZATION & MEDITATION
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)
Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. (Matthew 7:6)
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” (1 Corinthians 5:12-13)
We are now two-thirds through our study on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Because the Gospel of Matthew is primarily about how Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven to earth, the Sermon on the Mount very easily fits as a citizen’s guide to living in God’s kingdom. The topics covered have also been quite vast and sweeping: the characteristics and purpose of a Christian, how Christians relate to the Old Testament commandments, and how to properly give, pray, and fast.
Chapter six then ended with Jesus encouraging us to make an eternal investment in heavenly treasure that cannot be taken away from us. Once our hearts are eternally secure with the Father, we can then live lives without being anxious for our daily needs. Instead of focusing upon our temporal needs, Jesus urges us to focus first upon God’s kingdom.
As we move into the final chapter of the Sermon on the Mount, the topic shifts again. The predominate theme of this chapter is evaluating whether we truly belong to the kingdom of heaven. This theme kicks off as we study one of Facebook’s most quoted verses of all time: “Judge not, that you be not judged.” As we will see, Jesus is not forbidding all judgment wholesale; instead, He is preventing blanket condemnation and hypocritical criticism.
Read verses 1-5 and discuss the following.
- Since this is one of the most widely used verses today, it should be no surprise that it is often used in a manner that Jesus did not intend. What are some ways that the command “judge not” is used incorrectly?2. What did Jesus really mean by saying “judge not”?3. What do other Scriptures say about passing judgment?
Read verse 6 and discuss the following.
- To what is Jesus referring when He warns not to give holy things to dogs or throw pearls to pigs?5. How does this verse relate to the five verses before it?
ACTIONS TO CONSIDER
- Obey. After meditating upon these six verses, consider how passing judgment fits into your life. Do you have a tendency to make hypocritical criticisms of others, or do you tend to refrain from lovingly speaking truth to brothers and sisters in Christ for fear of being seen as judgmental? Repent of either extreme.
- Pray. Ask the Father for grace to fully realize our personal failings that we would be able to lovingly reach out to others for the kingdom.