Mon. May 20th, 2024

What does the Bible mean when it says, “Do not judge”?


The Bible’s command that we not judge others does not mean we cannot show discernment. Immediately after Jesus says, “Do not judge,” He says, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs” (Matthew 7:6). A little later in the same sermon, He says, “Watch out for false prophets. . . . By their fruit you will recognize them” (verses 15–16). How are we to discern who are the “dogs” and “pigs” and “false prophets” unless we have the ability to make a judgment call on doctrines and deeds? Jesus is giving us permission to tell right from wrong.

Also, the Bible’s command that we not judge others does not mean all actions are equally moral or that truth is relative. The Bible clearly teaches that truth is objective, eternal, and inseparable from God’s character. Anything that contradicts the truth is a lie—but, of course, to call something a “lie” is to pass judgment. To call adultery or murder a sin is likewise to pass judgment—but it’s also to agree with God. When Jesus said not to judge others, He did not mean that no one can identify sin for what it is, based on God’s definition of sin.

And the Bible’s command that we not judge others does not mean there should be no mechanism for dealing with sin. The Bible has a whole book entitled Judges. The judges in the Old Testament were raised up by God Himself (Judges 2:18). The modern judicial system, including its judges, is a necessary part of society. In saying, “Do not judge,” Jesus was not saying, “Anything goes.”

Elsewhere, Jesus gives a direct command to judge: “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly” (John 7:24). Here we have a clue as to the right type of judgment versus the wrong type. Taking this verse and some others, we can put together a description of the sinful type of judgment:

Superficial judgment is wrong. Passing judgment on someone based solely on appearances is sinful (John 7:24). It is foolish to jump to conclusions before investigating the facts (Proverbs 18:13). Simon the Pharisee passed judgment on a woman based on her appearance and reputation, but he could not see that the woman had been forgiven; Simon thus drew Jesus’ rebuke for his unrighteous judgment (Luke 7:36–50).

Hypocritical judgment is wrong. Jesus’ command not to judge others in Matthew 7:1 is preceded by comparisons to hypocrites (Matthew 6:2516) and followed by a warning against hypocrisy (Matthew 7:3–5). When we point out the sin of others while we ourselves commit the same sin, we condemn ourselves (Romans 2:1).

Harsh, unforgiving judgment is wrong. We are “always to be gentle toward everyone” (Titus 3:2). It is the merciful who will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7), and, as Jesus warned, “In the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2).

Self-righteous judgment is wrong. We are called to humility, and “God opposes the proud” (James 4:6). In Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, the Pharisee was confident in his own righteousness and from that proud position judged the publican; however, God sees the heart and refused to forgive the Pharisee’s sin (Luke 18:9–14).

Untrue judgment is wrong. The Bible clearly forbids bearing false witness (Proverbs 19:5). “Slander no one” (Titus 3:2).

Christians are often accused of “judging” or intolerance when they speak out against sin. But opposing sin is not wrong. Holding aloft the standard of righteousness naturally defines unrighteousness and draws the slings and arrows of those who choose sin over godliness. John the Baptist incurred the ire of Herodias when he spoke out against her adultery with Herod (Mark 6:18–19). She eventually silenced John, but she could not silence the truth (Isaiah 40:8).

Believers are warned against judging others unfairly or unrighteously, but Jesus commends “right judgment” (John 7:24, ESV). We are to be discerning (Colossians 1:91 Thessalonians 5:21). We are to preach the whole counsel of God, including the Bible’s teaching on sin (Acts 20:272 Timothy 4:2). We are to gently confront erring brothers or sisters in Christ (Galatians 6:1). We are to practice church discipline (Matthew 18:15–17). We are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). source


Intro. We are under the general heading of “Judge not lest you be judged.”

We have seen that Jesus is not saying that we should not be discerning, for in a few sentences He will be telling them to not cast their pearls before swine. It is more of the critical spirit that Jesus is making a reference to. Often in our minds, there are some people that we think can do no good. If they do something that is good, we are sure that they had the wrong motives, and I am prone to be critical of their motives.
A. We are setting the standard by which we will be judged.
1. If I judge and condemn a person for something he has done, it only indicates that I know that his action is wrong. I am thus setting the measuring stick for how I will be judged. I cannot plead ignorance of the law.
2. I am showing that I know it to be wrong.
ROM 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
3. So often the very thing that I am judging in another is something of which I am guilty myself. Just put it in a different light.
a. When Nathan came to David concerning his sin with Bathsheba, he just changed the story slightly.
b. It is interesting that God’s judgment upon David was not nearly as severe as what David announced upon the man.
c. But David did not get off scott free. Nathan said to David:
2SA 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou [art] the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
2SA 12:8 And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if [that had been] too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.
2SA 12:9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife [to be] thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
2SA 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
2SA 12:11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give [them] unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
2SA 12:12 For thou didst [it] secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
2SA 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
4. In Romans 2:21 Paul asked:
ROM 2:21 You who teach others, do you not teach yourself? you that preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
ROM 2:22 You that say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? you who abhor idols, do you commit sacrilege?
ROM 2:23 You that make your boast of the law, through breaking the law do you not dishonor God?
ROM 2:24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.
5. The scripture indicates that a man will be judged according to the light that he has been given. Jesus taught:
LUK 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not [himself], neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many [stripes].
LUK 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
JOH 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
JOH 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
2PE 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
B. You set the standard and measuring stick by which God will one day judge you.
1. If you are merciful, God will be merciful to you. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
2SA 22:26 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful, [and] with the upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright.
2SA 22:27 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself unsavoury.
2. If you are forgiving of others God will be forgiving toward you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
3. James said:
JAM 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
JAM 2:13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
4. If I am very severe in judging others, I will be judged very severely.
MAT 7:3 Why do you behold thou the sliver that is in your brother’s eye, but you do not consider the beam that is in your own eye?
A. Often times we are guilty of far worse things than we are judging in others.
1. Jesus said that if the blind lead the blind, they will both fall in the ditch.
2. This is even worse, it is like going to a blind optometrist to have him remove a particle of sawdust out of your eye.
B. The problem is that we can see so clearly the faults of others, but seem to be blind concerning our own.
C. It is always amazing how horrible our sins look when someone else is committing them.
A. Paul tells us that we should examine ourselves, for if we would judge ourselves we will not be judged of God.
1. David prayed: “Search me O God, and know my heart.”
2. It is so important that we see ourselves in the light of God.
a. Job who had been justifying himself before his friends, when God came on the scene said:
JOB 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
JOB 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
JOB 42:6 Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes.
b. When Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up with His glory filling the Temple, then Isaiah said, “Woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips. He became conscious of his own sin. There are many whose language is not pure, they get in a habit of filthy language, they need to see the Lord.
c. When Daniel saw the visions from the Lord he said: My comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
d. When Peter saw the power of Jesus manifested in the great catch of fish, he said:
LUK 5:8 He fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
B. Once you get the beam out of your own eye, then you will be able to see clearly to remove the speck of dust out of your brother’s eye.
1. Do you remember the response of Jesus to those who had brought the woman to Jesus caught in the act of adultery?
2. Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone.
a. The only one there who was qualified to throw a stone refused to do so. source

Matthew 7:2 – What’s is the possible meaning

 Matthew 7:2 is a warning about the consequences of our actions and the importance of treating others with fairness and respect. The verse suggests that the way we judge and treat others will determine how we will be judged and treated in return. In other words, the verse suggests that our actions have consequences and that we should be mindful of how we treat others, as this will have a direct impact on our own experiences.

The message behind this verse can be seen as an encouragement to live a life of kindness, compassion, and fairness, as these actions will help to create positive experiences and relationships in our own lives. At the same time, the verse can be seen as a warning against being overly critical or judgmental of others, as this will likely lead to negative consequences and a less fulfilling life.

the message behind Matthew 7:2 is one of balance and fairness, encouraging us to treat others with kindness and respect, and reminding us that our actions have consequences and that we will ultimately be judged by the way we treat others.

Matthew 7:2

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged
Both by God and men; to which agree those proverbial sentences used by the Jews;


“He that judgeth his neighbour according to the balance of righteousness, or innocence, they judge him according to righteousness.” 


“As ye have judged me according to the balance of righteousness, God will judge you according to the balance of righteousness.”

Hence that advice of Joshua ben Perachiah F24, who, by the Jewish writers, is said to be the master of Christ;

“Judge every man according to the balance of righteousness.”

Which their commentators explain thus F25; when you see a man as it were in “equilibrio”, inclining to neither part, it is not clear from what he does, that he is either good or evil, righteous or unrighteous; yet when you see him do a thing which may be interpreted either to a good or a bad sense, it ought always to be interpreted to the best.

And with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.
This was an usual proverb among the Jews; it is sometimes delivered out thus, (hdm dgnk hdm) , “measure against measure” F26; but oftener thus, and nearer the form of it here, (wl Nyddwm hb ddwm Mdav hdmb) , “with what measure a man measures, they measure to him”: one might fill up almost a page, in referring to places, where it is used in this form: besides those in the F1 margin, take the following, and the rather, because it gives instances of this retaliation F2:

“”With what measure a man measures, they measure to him”; so the woman suspected of adultery, she adorned herself to commit sin, and God dishonoured her; she exposed herself to iniquity, God therefore stripped her naked; the same part of her body in which her sin begun, her punishment did. Samson walked after his eyes, and therefore the Philistines plucked out his eyes. Absalom was lifted up in his mind, with his hair, and therefore he was hanged by it; and because he lay with his father’s ten concubines, they therefore pierced him with ten lances; and because he stole away three hearts, the heart of his father, the heart of the sanhedrim, and the heart of Israel, therefore he was thrust with three darts: and so it is with respect to good things; Miriam waited for Moses one hour, therefore the Israelites waited for her seven days in the wilderness; Joseph, who was greater than his brethren, buried his father; and Moses, who was the greatest among the Israelites took care of the bones of Joseph, and God himself buried Moses.”