Judge Not

imagesJesus continues to teach the righteousness of the kingdom in Matthew 7. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches kingdom righteousness in our relationship with God. In Matthew 7, Jesus teaches kingdom righteousness in our relationship with man.

The controlling principle in our relationship with others is in v. 12. Jesus said, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12). It is a positive command. We are to “do” to others. It reflects Jesus’ law of love. Jesus’ law of love is that you love your neighbor as you love yourself, including your enemies. To love your neighbor as yourself is to do to them what you wish them to do to you. On the basis of this love ethic, Jesus gives the command, “Judge not” (Matt. 7:1). To love your neighbor is to stop judging your neighbor.

This theme speaks to us powerfully. We give and receive unloving criticism. We are prone to fault-finding. Jesus knows what is in our hearts. He gets to the heart of the matter.

In Matthew 7:1-5, I’d like us to note four things—the right meaning of the command, the reason for the command, the reflection of the Command, and the requirement of the Command.

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