The Expository Files


“Do Not Judge”

Matthew 7:1


Jesus said, “Judge not that you be not judged.” (Matt. 7:1). Often, these words have been used to justify immorality, or at least suggested that immorality ought to be ignored because to speak negatively about sin is to judge. But this is not what Jesus had in mind at all!

Jesus was not condemning all judgments which we may make. In fact, He commands us to make judgments. On one occasion, He told us “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” (John 7:24). What Jesus was doing was not condemning all judging, but only a certain kind of judgment. He also commanded that we judge righteously.

Back in Matthew 7:1-5 we find Jesus was speaking against judging with hypocritical attitudes. We need to be aware of our own problems before we can help another with his. Later in Matthew 7, Jesus tells us to judge between good and false prophets (vss. 15-20). The Bible also tells us “not to participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead, even expose them.” (Eph 5:11).

Jesus never intended for His disciples to shut up and not speak out against sin. To be faithful followers of the Lord we must use the light of His word, both by living it ourselves and teaching it to others. His word says so!

By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 17.5;  May 2010