A statement that one hears quite often especially when a specific activity is condemned is "Judge not, that you be not judged and you are judging." People will use this statement when someone is trying to point out that some activity is wrong in an effort to justify their actions and be able to continue in it. Jesus did say in Matthew 7:1, "Judge not, that you be not judged." Was Jesus condemning all judging? Those who use this statement in the way that it is commonly used today would say yes.

In studying the meaning of a passage of the Bible, one needs to take into consideration the context of the verse. Also, one needs to take into consideration all that the Bible has to say on the matter. So let us take a look at the context as well as another statement of Jesus on the subject of judging and see if this statement is saying what those who commonly use this statement think it does.

Jesus says in Matthew 7:1-6 the following: 1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye. 6 Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." (NKJV) In verse 6 Jesus says that we are not to give that which is holy to dogs and cast pearls before pigs. How are we to determine what is meant by "dogs" and "pigs"? Does not this involving judging? Of necessity this verse involves determining (judging) if someone is a "dog" or a "pig". Would Jesus condemn something in one verse and then command us to do what He condemns just five verses later? Certainly not! We see that according to verses 3 through 5 that Jesus is not condemning all judging, but that He is condemning hypocritical judging.

Also we read where Jesus said in John 7:24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." (NKJV) Here we have Jesus specifically commanding us to judge. Would Jesus command us to do something that He has prohibited someplace else? Certainly not! Here Jesus commands us to judge righteous judgment. How does one judge righteous judgment? We read in Ps 119:138 "The statutes you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy." (NIV) Thus we see that God’s commandments are righteousness. Therefore, what Jesus is saying here in John 7:24 is that we are to make judgments that are in harmony with the Word of God.

So, when one states that stealing is wrong, this is righteous judging because Paul states in Eph 4:28 "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need." (NKJV)

Also, if one states that murder is wrong, he is judging righteous judgment since we read in 1 John 3:15 "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." (NKJV)

In addition, when one says that women are not to teach men in the assembly (church) in such a way as to be in a position of authority over the man (which would prohibit women preaching when men are in the audience) they are judging righteous judgments. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:34 "Let your women keep silent in the churches [assembles], for they are not permitted to speak…" (NKJV) Again 1 Tim 2:12 "And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence." (NKJV)

This means that one will need to do a great deal of studying of God’s word in order to be able to judge righteous judgments.

By Unknown Author

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