Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor
So far in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, (Ch. 5) he has challenged us to be truly righteous people who, unlike the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law, take our relationship with God deep beneath the surface of just going through the motions of religion and rule keeping.
We are like Salt & Light changing everything and everyone we touch with love— even for our enemies.
In chapter 6 we learned that as Jesus Followers, we no longer seek security in our reputation—what people think of us or in material wealth. We don’t worry. We’re happy and seek God’s Kingdom because we know he will take care of us!
Now in Matthew 7, Jesus is going to paint an unmistakable picture for us of what Authentic Followers of Jesus look like—and what they don’t look like.
God’s Story— Don’t Judge! Matthew 7:1-6
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Do you know anyone who would be perfectly happy to run your life for you? They say, “God loves you and I have a wonderful plan for your life!” We’re all like that every time we judge others. And when we force our well intentioned advice or our obsessive efforts to control on those who are neither ready nor willing to receive it, it is wasted. And the result is just as a dog who has no appreciation for the sacred, or a pig who has no need of pearls, and will simply walk all over them and then turn and take a bite out of you!
Jesus was constantly on the other end of someone else’s criticism and judgment for the different way he lived and the unacceptable people he hung out with. On two separate occasions Jesus referred those who had judged and condemned him to what seemed to be his own favorite scripture passage, Hosea 6:6.
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”
BIG Idea: When we aren’t merciful, we judge. When we forget about love, we condemn. God desires love and mercy to be the substance of our relationship with him and with others, not the rules of our religion which will always measure us and others as lacking and inadequate.
The Apostle Peter got it right when he wrote: “ Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)