In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus made the statement, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (Matt. 7:1) If someone today says, “Don’t judge me” when confronted regarding a particular wrong-doing, is that a proper application of the intent of Jesus’s words, or is such a usage simply a way to dismiss accountability for sin? Does “Do not judge” mean we should avoid making any type of judgements? If not, what are some judgements we are to make? And, if we do make them, how should those judgements be exercised? What is the most important judgement that anyone can and should make? What is/are the judgement(s) that we are to avoid making, that Jesus was referring to in verse 1? Please utilize any Scriptures you can locate to support your answers.
What type of spiritual attributes would you expect to be developed in an individual who always kept verse 2 in mind when interacting with others?
Define what a hypocrite is. How do verses 3-5 tie in to the subject of judgement? What motivation might a person with “a plank” in their eye have for offering to remove a “speck” from their brother’s eye? What does verse 5 teach us about dealing with sin?
Verse 6 requires discernment if it is to be put into practice, and the judgement it asks you to make is certainly not a flattering one. Explain what you think Jesus meant. Can you find any other statements he made that correspond to this command? (Notice that do not is a command, not merely a suggestion) Can you find any examples in the new testament of this principle being put into practice?
Finally, do you view verse 7 as a transition to a new and separate topic, or as a continuation of the train of thought from verses 1-6? What is the rationale in support of your answer?