Text: Matthew 7:1-12
For right judgment
For those who make, enforce and administer law
“Judge not, that you be not judged.”
In our world, this statement by Jesus has worked much mischief. Most of the time, these words are used as a weapon: “you have no right, no standing to judge me.” Each of us is an authority unto ourselves; what “works” for me may not “work” for you, but that is not your affair. It works for me, and that should be enough. If you question my life—my works, my decisions, my results—then you are in the wrong, and, if you claim to be a Christian, there is the even more wonderful result that the Lord clearly stands against you.
But this is not so. Jesus is pushing his hearers, his students, to be wise in their discernment, in their judgments. You desire mercy, renewal, a second chance for yourself; let your judgment be colored by the same as you look at the lives of others. Above all, the question of judgment rests on the work of God, who, as we heard earlier, lets his rain fall on those who deserve it—and those who do not.
On the plus side, the type of encounter that Christians often have with others about the “rightness” or the “wrongness” of an act, a decision, or a life’s path is that it gives a chance to examine closely just where authority is found in the Christian’s life. We too, who live in this world, tend to think of our Christian faith as a lifestyle choice that we make—to implement or discard the way of Jesus Christ as it suits us. We prefer certain parts of that way and we ignore whatever hinders the project of ‘me.’ We will be lords, not servants.
If the Easter message is true, and Jesus is Lord, then one conclusion is inescapable: he is Lord of me.
Easter joy ~ Pr. Dave Brooks