MISQUOTING JESUS | Matthew 7:1-6

“DON’T JUDGE ANYONE ELSE’S SIN”

 

Matthew 7:1-61 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 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? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when  (BEHOLD) there is the log in your own eye? 5 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. 6 “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.

 

I’M NOT SURE IF YOU’VE EVER BEEN MISQUOTED, but it has to be one of the most frustrating sensations there is.

o   Seeking to help, inform, or maybe even amuse, you thoughtfully and creatively combine your knowledge on a certain topic, your true intentions, and your mastery of a particular language and you communicate as clearly and compellingly as you are capable, only to be mocked and misrepresented by someone who just didn’t get it.

o   To be sure, the level of frustration is directly proportionate to the importance of whatever it was you said – from deeply offensive to laughable.

 

IN OUR TEXT, JESUS DELIVERS PURE, PERFECT, & POWERFUL TRUTH. And the problem is this passage is often not read carefully, taught too quickly, and in many cases, not understood correctly. Jesus has been too often misquoted here to have said something more along the lines of…”You shouldn’t judge other people.” Or “You can’t judge my sin.” 

o   And while there is partial truth in that statement, the clarity comes for us when we read this passage carefully and scripture show us the clear theme of how we are treat other Christians with sin in their lives. To someone who is quick to misquote Jesus in this way, they define judgment as any and all objection to their sin…by anyone, ever.  But the rest of the Bible is very interested in making this very clear to us.

o   The key is verse 5 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.”

o   So, Jesus is not talking at all about WHETHER OR NOT believers are to point out or help remove the sin of fellow believers, but He is talking about HOW & WHY we confront a fellow believers regarding their sin.

 

YOU’LL REMEMBER BACK IN CHAPTER 5, Jesus says in no uncertain terms that his primary concern is and has always been the motive of our hearts and not mere actions.

o   Matthew 5:20 – For, I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

·      You couldn’t OUT-OBEY the Pharisees.

·      Unless, what you did do was done w/ a PURE HEART toward God.

o   And the difference is HAUGHTY CRITICISM & HUMBLE CORRECTION.

·      Jesus condemns: Haughty Criticism (vv1-4)

·      Jesus encourages: Humble Correction (v5)

 

SO, HOW CAN WE MAKE SURE TO BE THE HUMBLE CORRECTORS?

o   We know that when a believer confronts a fellow believer, he/she ought to have a proper understanding of the AUTHORITY of God and a proper ATTITUDE regarding themselves, and their brother or sister.

o   THIS IS WHERE THE PHARISEES MISSED IT COMPLETELY…And where we too miss it at times…

·      We misunderstand God’s authority and forget we aren’t the judge

·      returning in a wrong attitude toward others.

 

UNDERSTANDING THE AUTHORITY OF GOD

·      The authority of God in Scripture

ü  God (Deut.) / Creator (Gen.) / Father (Chron.) / King (Psalm) / Molder (Rom.) / Author (Heb.)…to name a few.

ü  and hereJUDGE.

·      70+ times, God is referred to as a Judge.

ü  Psalm 98:9 – He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

ü  Isaiah 40:23 – [it is God] who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.

ü  Romans 2:16 –  on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

ü  John 5:22-24 – The Father makes the Son judge at the end!

 

·      BUT SELF-RIGHTEOUS PRIDE CAN BLIND US TO THIS.

ü  This is a sentencing!

-       Judge (κρινετε) = you all…judge / decide

-       Luke also uses “condemn

-       With the measure (μετρω) you measure it out (μετρειτε), it will be measured to you (μετρηθησεται).

ü  Hebrews 10:30-31 – 30 “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

o   They heaped condemnation on themselves when they piled up impossible, extra-Biblical, and legalistic demands teaching that when unmet resulted in their alleged sinfulness & damnation.

 

·      SUCH JUDGMENT IS A BOOMERANG

ü  Self-righteous judgment will hang on its own gallows.

-       Esther 7:10 – And the king said, “Hang him on that.” So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king abated.

 

 

·      Jesus describes their hypocritical judgmental-ism:

ü  Luke 11:46 And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.

 

·      Paul describes their hypocritical judgmental-ism:

ü  Romans 14:1-4 – 1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. 2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

 

o   They considered the additional ‘fense’ laws of renown rabbis as (if not more so) authoritative as commands recorded in scripture!

·      Hundreds of extra laws w/ sometimes hundreds more to ensure that you never came close to breaking the rabbi’s law, or oh, God’s law.

·      All while inventing loop-hopes & exceptions for themselves.

ü  Matthew 15:3-6 – 3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,” 6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: 8 “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

ü  The maximum walking range from one’s city to 2,000 cubits (3,049 ft., 0.596 miles. Bringing items that designated any dwelling a home in order to traveling on the sabbath.

 

o   PAUL WRITES… 

·      Romans 2:1-3 – 1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?

 

 

ONLY GOD JUDGES W/ ULTIMATE JUDGMENT, B/C ONLY GOD KNOWS HEARTS.

·      Jeremiah 11:20 – But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind

·      1 Corinthians 4:5 – Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

 

o   But that was the problem! They never considered the HEART!

·      “Beam” = not larger sin. The heart-level sin of self-righteousness

·      “Speck” = not smaller sin. A behavioral sin of disobedience

 

o   LUKE 6 – CALLS THEM “BLIND”

·      They were BLIND TO the what BLINDED them (self-righteousness)

·      HYPOCRITES!

 

BUT THIS IS NOT HOW THE CHRISTIAN CONFRONTS SIN IN FELLOW BELIEVERS.

o   We know Jesus will be on the throne at Judgment (Rev. 20)

·      James 4:12 – There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?

·      BUT WAIT, we decided Jesus wasn’t saying if…BUT HOW…

 

o   THIS IS THE CONFUSION for those unfamiliar with the council of Scripture.

·      ‘JUDGE’ has a range of meaning that CONTEXT helps to clarify

ü  Decide / Prescribe / Sentence (vv.1-4)

God’s Role.

ü  Correct / Admonish / Rebuke (Accountability) (v.5)

Our Role.

 

o   “Judging” fellow believers is not only our RIGHT, but it is our RESPONSIBILITY!

·      John 7:24 – Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

·      Galatians 6:1-3 – 1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

 

o   THIS JUDGMENT from believers IS NOT ULTIMATE

…but, can it be SEVERE. 

·      1 Corinthians 5:11-13 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

·      Paul parted ways w/ Demas saying he loved this world. (2 Tim. 4:10)

o   THE CHRISTIAN UNDERSTANDS than any discouragement, rebuke, or consequences issued for a fellow believer’s sinful BEHAVIOR, IS IN THE CONTEXT OF God’s greater judgment of their HEART.

o   GOD HAS ORDAINED the accountability of other believers to help accomplish his work of sanctification – keeping us sensitivity to sin and making us holy!

 

NOT ONLY DO WE UNDERSTAND GOD’S AUTHORITY, BUT WE HAVE A PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD OUR BROTHER! 

o   Have you ever had something in your teeth for hours after a meal – all because a “friend” was enough of a “friend” to say, “Hey, you have something right here?”

·      It takes a certain confidence in your relationship, eh?!

 

o   OUR SALVATION OFFERS US 2 THINGS THAT CREATE IN US a confidence that permits US to confront a brother with sin in their life.

1.     Desire for holiness!

ü  John 5:24 – Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

-       Our conscience is clear of pervasive sin and hypocrisy.

-       The results is worth the difficult conversation.

-       We know they desire holiness / obedience.

-       They will thank us.

 

o   And the one most clearly in contrast to the Pharisees in our text…

2.     Disposition of humility!

ü  Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

ü  1 John 1:8-9 – 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

ü  Luke 18:11-14 – 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

o   Verse 5: “…and then you will see clearly…” (δια-βλεψεις)

·      What does it mean to See Clearly?  Everyone Involved.

-       God’s and his authority.

-       Yourself as a sinner saved by grace.

-       Your brother sadly caught in sin.

·      This is the attitude of a Christian upon salvation!

 

o   This is the difference btw haughty criticism & humble correction

 

SIGNS OF HAUGHTY Criticism

-       Pride approach

-       The authority on the issue

-       Forgotten all he’s forgiven

-       Does not recognize sin

-       Lacks joy and kindness

-       Dish it but cant take it

-       Hates getting caught in sin

-       Making others feel bad

-       Doesn’t lead to repentance

-       Care more about themselves

 

SIGNS OF HUMBLE Correction

-       Humble (poor in Spirit)

-       The messenger

-       Remembers all he’s forgiven

-       Voluntarily recognizes sin

-       More joyful & gracious

-       Secretly wants to be caught

-       Hates sin

-       Shares the weight of bro’s sin

-       Results in true repentance

-       Care more for their brother

 

CHRISTIANS CORRECT IN HUMILITY 

The coolest part of the truth in this text…

 

THIS HUMILITY IS actually DESPITE ALL OF THE AUTHORITY WE HAVE IN CHRIST

o   NOW - In the context of Church discipline…

·      Matthew 18:17-20 – 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

ü  Matthew Henry – “If the censures (judgments) of the church duly follow the institution of Christ, his judgments will follow the censures of the church, his spiritual judgments, which are the sorest of all other, for Christ will not suffer his own ordinances to be trampled upon, but will say amen to the righteous sentences which the church passes on obstinate offenders. How light soever proud scorners may make of the censures of the church, let them know that they are confirmed in the court of heaven; and it is in vain for them to appeal to that court, for judgment is there already given against them. They that are shut out from the congregation of the righteous now shall not stand in it in the great day. Christ will not own those as his, nor receive them to himself, whom the church has duly delivered to Satan.”

·      2 Corinthians 2:10 If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven – if there was anything to forgive--I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake…

 

o   FUTURE - In the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth…

·      1 Corinthians 6:1-3 – 1 When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? 2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

 

o   BUT THE CHRISTIAN WEILDS THIS AUTHORITY IN UTTER HUMILITY.

ANY AUTHORITY WE EXERCISE IS W/ HIS ULTIMATE AUTHORITY IN MIND. AND WE ONLY LOVERAGE THIS AUTHORITY…

·      In love for our brother

·      For the purity of Christ’s Church

·      And for the glory of God

 

THERE IS ONE MORE JUDGEMENT WE MUST MAKE, WHEN CONFRONTING SIN.

o   Christ refers to it in the final verse of this section. (v6)

·      “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.”

 

o   This final judgment is more about discernment!

·      Scripture has a lot to say about HOW we confront

·      Here we see we must discern WHO we confront & hold accountable

o   Humble correction / truth in love / accountability can’t be given to anybody!

 

Humbly Correcting a believer plays a powerful role in God’s work = HOLY

·      Humble Correction leads to repentance

·      Repentance leads to restoration

·      Restoration to the Father leads to growth

 

 

o   THIS IS WHY WE RISK AWKWARDNESS & EVEN OFFENSE.

·      2 Corinthians 7:9 – As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting.

 

o   Pigs & Dogs: unbelievers who do not appreciate correction AND THEREFORE do not appreciate even the most humble correction.

o   What is Holy: meant burned, eaten by priests, & the rest by families

o   Attack you with sharp hooves and tusks: offense, defensiveness, rebuke

 

·      EVEN THEN, lets remember Jesus’ attitude toward an unbelieving Israel who would kill him partially due to His judgment of them…

ü  Luke 19:41-42 – 41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

 

We are commissioned to judge…to participate in the Lord’s holy work in the life of believers…and to do so in light of his ultimate AUTHORITY and with an ATTITUDE of humility toward others…remembering we too are being saved.