THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT #24
To Judge Or Not To Judge
A. A favorite saying of many people is “Judge not, that you
be not judged”
1. Frequently quoted whenever someone is pointing out the
sins or faults of another
2. The impression is that we should never make moral
judgments in what we see in others
B. Is that true? Is that what Jesus meant when He said this?
1. Are we never to make moral judgments about the right or
wrong in other?
2. If we see wrong in others, can we never point it out?
C. I am persuaded that Jesus’ statement is often misused,
for Jesus taught…
1. There are times when we must judge
2. There are times when it is appropriate to point out the
faults in others
D. “To Judge Or Not To Judge,” that is the question
1. The proper answer comes from a closer look at Jesus’
words in Matthew 7:1-6.
2. First note how His words are frequently misused…
A. HIS WORDS OFTEN USED TO FORBID
“ALL” MANNER OF JUDGMENT
1. Such as adverse or unfavorable criticism
a. Like pointing out a fault in someone else
b. Even if it be truly “constructive” criticism
2. Such as the exercise of church discipline
a. Exercising discipline of any sort does require “judging”
others as to their moral or spiritual condition
b. Since such “judgment” is involved, some feel verses 1-2
rule out any sort of church discipline
3. Such as exposing those who teach error
a. Admittedly, it requires making a judgment in order to
consider whether someone is teaching error
b. Therefore, some people, in light of verses 1-2, believe
we cannot speak out against those who teach error
4. Is that what Jesus means?
a. Must we remain silent when we see people overtaken in
a fault, bringing reproach upon the name of Christ, or
blatantly teaching error?
b. Let me suggest that…
B. JESUS DID NOT RULE OUT “ALL” FORMS
1. Note the “immediate” context…
a. Which reveals that in some cases “proper” judgment
must be made
b. Matthew 7:6 – This implies judgment is to be made as
to who are “dogs” and who are “hogs”
1) Otherwise, how can we know when not to give that
which is holy to “dogs”?
2) Or how can we know when not to cast our pearls
c. Matthew 7:15-20 – This implies that we must make
judgments in determining who is a false teacher (“by
their fruits ye will know them”)
2. Consider the “remote” context…
a. Which speak of times when judgment must be made!
b. Elsewhere, Jesus taught people to “judge with righteous
judgment” – John 7:24
c. Christians have a responsibility to “judge those who are
inside” the local church – 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
d. We are taught by the apostle of love (John) to “test the
spirits” (which requires making judgments) –
1 John 4:1
3. There is no contradiction here, for as we continue with our
text, we notice that…
C. JESUS DEFINED WHAT “KIND” OF
JUDGING HE IS CONDEMNING
1. Judging when on is blind to his or her faults…
a. Matthew 7:3-5
b. Jesus is saying “that is it wrong for anyone to
concentrate his attention on the speck in his brother’s eye,
and while thus occupied, to ignore the beam in his own
c. Just Paul taught the necessity of proper “introspection”
when helping others – Galatians 6:1
2. Judging without mercy and love…
a. “The Lord is here condemning the spirit of
censoriousness, judging harshly, self-righteously,
without mercy, without love, as also the parallel passage
(Lk 6:36-37) clearly indicates.” (Hendriksen)
b. James warned against making judgments without mercy
– James 2:13
1) If we make judgments without showing mercy, then
no mercy will be shown when we are judged!
2) Just as Jesus said – Matthew 7:2
3. The implication is not that we should never judge, but
when we do judge, remember that we shall be judged
by the same standards we use!
a. Let mercy and love temper our judgments.
D. JESUS IMPLIES THERE ARE TIMES WHEN
WE “MUST” MAKE JUDGMENTS!
1. It is “after” we have corrected our own faults…
a. Matthew 7:5
b. When we have done so, we are able to see, discern
(judge), and be of help to others who are overtaken in
c. This does not mean that we must be sinless, otherwise
we would never be able to fulfill our duties to correct and
admonish one another
d. Indeed, “the law of Christ” requires us to! –
2. Again, we must judge between those “worthy” and
those who are “hog and dogs”…
a. Matthew 7:6
1) Some are not worthy of that which is “holy”
2) Some are like “dogs” and “swine” – Determining who
is which requires “judgment” upon our part!
b. With those who are receptive, we are to be
long-suffering in trying to help them come out of their
error – 2 Timothy 2:24-26
c. But for those who are not, we are not to waste what is
good and holy on them!
1) Note the instructions of Jesus to His disciples –
2) Note the example of Paul and Barnabas at Antioch of
Pisidia – Acts 13:42-46
A. The kind of judging forbidden by Jesus is that which is
self-righteous, hypocritical judging which is false and
calls down God’s judgment on itself.
B. This is the kind of judging that was also condemned by
James when he wrote – James 4:11-12
C. May God help us to refrain from such judging…
1. And be more apt to remove the “beams” from our own
2. And then to then be more useful in helping others with
3. But to say we should never judge, is to abuse what Jesus
teaches, not only in this passage but elsewhere as well!
D. Speaking of judging – ARE YOU READY FOR THE