Matthew 7:1-5; On Judging

Matthew 7:1 is probably one of the most misused verses of the Bible. It is taken out of its context and filled with whatever supposed meaning someone wants to give it.

John Nolland says: “The call not to judge has made its way deeply into popular imagination: ‘Who am I to judge?’ Unfortunately the applications people often make (giving personal space to others; modesty about one’s own capacity to discern what is right; the desire not to be faced with responsibility for decisions in complex or disputed matters) probably have little to do with the intention of either Jesus or the Gospel writers. In a postmodern context there can be a siren call to a radical pluralism. As popularly understood, the principle is soon set aside when the wrong done by the other person touches a place of deep personal investment.”

This saying of Jesus is not about keeping our noses out of other people’s business. It is about condemning them as lost causes. It is about taking on God’s job of deciding who is in and who is out.

It is especially not about keeping other noses out of my business, which is how most people want to use it.

Much discernment is needed to live the Christian life. It is not a live and let live life of independence. It is a life of mutual involvement.

But before we can help others with what they need, we need to be in the right position. Mountains and molehills. Specks and beams.

Then we let God be the judge and we serve as disciplers.

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