The Reason of the Command

Jesus said in Matt. 7:1, “Judge not, that you 6960d94b16649fbe24fd98346b581d7abe not judged.” The reason why we must not judge is so that we will not be judged. Eugene Peterson, in The Message, renders v. 1 as follows: “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment.” If you judge others self-righteously, you will be judged. If you will not judge others, you will not be judged.

Jesus is not saying that God will not judge us. Rather, He is saying that God will not judge us by the way we do not judge others. Conversely, God will judge us by the way we judge others. (Keener)

I read about a Honolulu deputy prosecutor who got a second DUI arrest. DUI in the USA means Driving Under the Influence of alcohol. Jon Riki Karamatsu was arrested for drunk driving in April 2015 for the second time.

In 2007, while Karamatsu was Vice Speaker of the state House, he was convicted after crashing his car into a concrete median.  He pleaded no contest in that case and had his driver’s license revoked for six months. The former state lawmaker also helped pass tougher DUI laws.[1]

The irony is that Karamatsu was a co-author of tougher DUI laws in Honolulu.

Jesus said in v. 2, “For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” The tense is future tense—you will be judged. When will this judgment be? On the last day, you will be judged. (Hagner) It is an eschatological judgment—the judgment of our works.

Who will judge us? God Himself. The verb, “be not judged,” is a passive voice. It means that someone else will do the judging. Now in Jesus’ Sermon, it is God who will judge us. Matthew 6:14-15 says,

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,

15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Jesus is talking about God’s forgiveness on the last day. Likewise in Matthew 7:1, Jesus is most likely talking about God’s judgment on the last day.

Do you know that we will all stand before God on the last day? Yes, we will give an account of how we lived our lives on earth. We will answer to God for how we loved Him, how we treated others, and how we judged others in this life. It will not be a judgment of salvation, but a judgment of consecration–the degree of one’s devotion to God and separation from sin. God will judge us on the last day.

So judge not, Jesus says, that you be not judged.

[1] Chelsea Davis, “Should a city deputy prosecutor keep his job after second DUI arrest?” Hawaii News Now, April 4, 2015. Cited May 16, 2015. Online:

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