“Matthew 7.1-6”, Bonus Episode

Kingdom Come Series, Thames Valley churches of Christ

Matt. 7:1

Chapter

3 dangers building toward the golden rule. Danger of judgmental-ism, danger of folly, danger of misunderstanding the father.

Judge

Judge (krinoœ) can mean to discern, to judge judicially, to be judgmental, to condemn. 

What about the context? Must mean “do not be judgmental”, no critical spirit, condemning attitude.  Same verb found in Romans 14:10.

Need to make judgments: Matt 7.6, 15-20; 18.15-17.

Perhaps this warning comes here because, if we have grasped the teachings of chapters 5 and 6 and have begun to live and celebrate them, it is possible we could look down at those who have not yet done so.

Carson sees this attitude as, “a scurrilous sort of zeal.” Carson, 107

You will be judged

Perhaps by God, perhaps by others. 

“People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.”

Matt. 7:2

In the same way

Implies judgement by God. See Matt 18.23-35.  But could also refer to the way others will treat you. We see this especially when a critical spirit becomes part of the culture. If we indulge it in ourselves, it will infect those around us.

See also: Romans 2:1, 21–23; James 4:11–12.  

Breaks the beatitude to be merciful, Matthew 5:7; 6:14.

Matt. 7:3

Speck

karphos, a tiny splinter of wood or straw

plank

beam or rafter 

Biblical example: 2 Samuel 12:1-7. David, Nathan.

Matt. 7:5

Hypocrite

Here it’s the disciples who are hypocrites, not his usual targets the Pharisees etc.

The speck is there. The problem is not the diagnosis. The problem is the inconsistency of applying judgement to another but not to oneself.

One of the great sadnesses of a critical spirit is that it comprises love – John 13:34; 17:20-23.

Remove the speck

 “… The speck of sawdust in the patient’s eye does in fact require removal, even if the operation should not be performed by a surgeon with a plank in his own eye.” Carson, 110.

God himself blends justice with mercy, therefore, so should his followers. 

It is far more likely that those with a speck will welcome help in removing it if they are confident their spiritual surgeon lacks hypocritical judgemental-ism.

Matt. 7:6

Context

Jesus is making a judgement here. Indicates it does not mean we should not make judgements. Only hypocritical ones. He is also telling us that we must make such judgements as he is making. See also Matthew 7:15. Paul – 1 Corinthians 5:5, Galatians 1:8; Philippians 3:2; Galatians 5:12; 1 John 4:1; John 7:24.

Sacred

The holy given to the unholy is unthinkable.

Pearls

What is meant to be admired forever is instead lost.

Tear you to pieces

What does this mean?  Is it that thoughtless application of truth leads to unhealthy reactions.

What of the connection with judgement? Jesus is advocating discernment here. 

“… We are not to be judgmental and yet we are not to be undiscriminating.” Carson, 106.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org. 

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John