This week we will continue our summer series on The Questions Jesus Asked.
This Sunday, we find ourselves in the Sermon on the Mount.
Matthew 7:1-5 New International Version
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Since this week’s passage is so short, here is the same scripture, but another translation.
Matthew 7 The Message
7 1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
One commentary I read this week call this passage, “one of the most misunderstood, misquoted passages in the Bible”.
Jesus is talking about judging and hypocrisy. Does this message still resonate for the church today?
It seems to me that after reading this passage that it matters to Jesus how we communicate with each other. Is this passage meant to help us communicate better with each other?
What if we only spoke the words given to us by the Holy Spirit?
What if our words were loving, merciful, gracious, and peacemaking as opposed to being the thought police or the truth patrol.
What if our job as Jesus followers is not to force people to standards they cannot keep on their own.
What if as a community we were focused on unity and encouraging each other and allow the Holy Spirit to continue the transformative work in each of our lives.
Let’s talk about it on Sunday.
~ Pastor Dustin