Monday 11 September 2023

Matthew 7 v 1-5


This passage contains the parable of the speck and the log.

 It begins with Jesus warning us not to judge others, for we will be judged according how we act in similar circumstances. Often there are people criticizing others when they are behaving in the same   way.  Jesus said it was like seeing a speck in someone’s eye when there was a much bigger one in your own eye.    

 This parable is often misinterpreted, and can be used to spread poison, not medicine. Jesus would not want us to be afraid of taking judgement when something sinful has been found, for such would be contrary to other passages of Scripture, but we should be sure that our conduct is above reproach. At present, we are finding false doctrine being adopted in the Church, which definitely needs condemning. But because there are powerful voices, who wish to force their cause, it is hypocritically overlooked

 There is however, usually someone in a congregation, who is a storm waiting to cause dissension,  and rejoicing in doing so, and we might see the unpleasant ones being given a chance to cause upset.    

 Certainly He would want  us to stop being censorious and fault-finding, causing what might be hypocrisy. We all see small faults in others, but when they are trifling points which do not have any damage intention, they are best overlooked.  None of us are perfect in every conversation. Jesus had to suffer much at the hands of the Pharisees, who were so anxious to find fault over any little things He did.

Christian charity encourages us to watch against being too fastidious, and rather listen to all things, and hope all things, and be careful not to look for faults

 Another lesson, we find here is the importance of exercising discretion to the person with whom we speak about religion. People have their own feelings about things which are controversial, and some passages or phrases are often misused to support one’s own viewpoint. It is not everybody to whom it is wise to express our mind. This is a situation when people take a serious opinion on what the Bible means, especially in cases of sexuality, for to-day many people, far too many, try to justify that which is clearly wrong, when looked at with an impartial manner.  Some preachers even make        matters worse, by their misrepresenting Bible teaching to support that which should not be so treated.

 I have seen men fly into a passion, and act quite contrary to Scripture, when a view against theirs is  tendered.  In fact, I have received abuse from a fellow Minister when I preached on a certain subject, directly from the Bible.  When I challenged him to prove his view according to the Bible, there was no reply. It was simply because there was no other view. but he was not willing to admit.

 Jesus often spoke as He does here. He was using words and ideas which were quite familiar to Jews in their highest thoughts.  Many times a Rabbi warned people against judging others.  He who judges his neighbor  favorably would be favorably judged by God.  They laid it down there were six great works which brought a man credit in this world and the world to come; study; visiting the sick; hospitality; devotion in prayer; the education of children in the Law; and thinking the best of other people. The jews knew too, that kindliness in judgement was a sacred duty.

It may be thought all that would be an easy kind to obey, for history is filled with the records of misjudgments, that it would be a warning to men not to make judgment at all.  Again and again men and women became famous, but were misjudge as nonentities.

 There are reasons why no one should judge another person. We may never know the whole  person .  A wise Rabbi named Hillel, stated we should never judge until we have been in the same situation. No one knows the strength of another one. The man with a placid temperament, does not understand the man with a fiery temper, whose passions are on a trigger.  The man brought up in a good Christian home, knows nothing of the temptations of a man who grew up in a slum area, or where evil abounds.  The man brought up with good parents, has a different outlook to a man brought up without a father present, which is so common these days. The reality is, that if those who have been well brought up knew what the alternative of others was, would be amazed they have succeeded as much as they have.

 A second reason is, it is sometimes impossible to be strictly impartial in judgment. We are often swayed by our own instinctive reactions to people.  Our judgments then are illogical reaction. It is not in human nature to be strictly impartial, only God has that quality.

 Thirdly, It was Jesus who said the supreme reason why we should not judge others. Jesus drew a picture of a man with a plank in his eye, trying to remove a speck of dust in his eye. This is to drive a lesson home. Only the faultless can look for faults in others. There are people who criticize those who hold positions of responsibility, who could not do so themselves; or of people who have very liberal ideas, and will not tolerate anyone with a more conservative and responsible view.

 We have to recognize and accept that there are in life organizations, which demand to have men  and women holding Offices of command, and authority to enforce rules and regulations. Such are military and semi-military forces, and indeed in lesser ways business. Some people holding such authority do get carried away by their own sense of importance, but it should also be accepted if someone having responsibility fails or makes mistakes, the penalty can be severe.

 In conclusion, life provides us with enough to do to rectify  own lives without trying to rectify the lives of others. Leave the rest to God

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