Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

The Most Misunderstood Command

Often you have heard someone question the salvation of another. Almost always he immediately adds, “But I know that I am not to judge.” Of course, they refer to the passage in the Sermon on the Mount:

Judge not that you be not judged…    Matthew 7:1

Jesus did not mean the command in the way it is almost always applied. Look at verse six just below the command. Jesus says:

Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine … 

In order to obey Matthew 7:6 we must make a judgment identifying hogs and dogs. Then in Matthew 7:20 Jesus goes on to say:

Therefore by their fruits you will know them…  

So, if we have misunderstood and misapplied the statement of Jesus, just what does Jesus mean? He followed his command not to judge with the illustration of seeking to remove a speck from our brother’s eye while we have a plank in our own eye.

Jesus goes on to say that if we remove the plank from our own eye then we will see clearly how to remove the speck from our brother’s eye.

Do you see the message? When we have planks in our eyes, we will always see specks in the eyes of other people. When the plank is gone from our eye, we do not see the speck in our brother’s eye. We see clearly how to remove the speck from our brother’s eye.

The command not to judge is really a command not to have a spirit of criticism. And how can we remove that plank?

Now we are back to the five imperatives for Christian victory. They have been mentioned numerous times in our devotionals. Read them again.