Sermon on the Mount Continued
So far, Jesus has taught His disciples that following Him makes them different from the world.
In this chapter, Jesus warns them not to get a big head.
“How easy it would have been for the disciples to adopt a superior attitude, to pass unqualified condemnation on the rest of the world and to persuade themselves that this was the will of God!”
Jesus tells the disciples the only thing that makes them different from the world is HIM.
We cannot judge the world, for we were once no different.
Instead, a disciple must view others through the eyes of Christ…the eyes of Love.
To use our righteousness, God’s words, or Christ’s standards on someone else only show’s how far we are from Christ.
“…Christ is not a standard which I can apply to others. He is judge of myself, revealing my own virtues to me as something altogether evil.”
Christ saved me even though I was a sinner. He gave me love when I didn’t deserve it. Now, I must give that type of unconditional love to those who do not share my belief in Christ. That type of love is all encompassing.
“If we love, we can never observe the other person with detachment, for he is always and at every moment a living claim to our love and service.”
Does this mean we overlook sin?
No, it means we recognize sin as opportunities to show God’s love and forgiveness.
“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.”
We need to check our motives when we judge sin in others.
If we are wanting “to destroy evil, we should look for evil where it is certain to be found…in our own hearts.”
If we want to justify our sins, we are saying God’s grace works one way for us, but not for another. “We are trying to claim for ourselves a special privilege which we deny to others.”
But judging others isn’t the sole topic of this passage.
We can’t force the gospel on people.
We can’t orchestrate their salvation.
We can’t push God where He is not wanted.
The Word of God knows that. But do we?
“…the Word of God…takes the risk of meeting the scorn of men and being rejected.”
There’s a difference in being religious and following Christ.
A difference between witnessing and forcing beliefs.
A difference between a nation founded on God and a nation controlled by religion.
“To try and force the Word on the world by hook or by crook is to make the living Word of God into a mere idea, and the world would be perfectly justified in refusing to listen to an idea for which it had no use.”
So how do we ensure we are witnessing and not forcing?
“The only way to reach others is through him in whose hands they are themselves like all other men.”
We are equal sinners.
And we can all be equally saved.
“The evil in the other person is exactly the same evil as in ourselves.”
So DON’T GET A BIG HEAD!
We are to love God above all else and our neighbor as ourselves.
When tempted to judge, put yourself in their shoes.
Would you want to feel that condemnation?
Would you want to hear those harsh words?
I know I don’t like having mean things said about me…no one does.
I don’t like being judged harshly, even if I deserve it…no one does.
“…do to others what you would have them do to you…” Matt 7:12
1. God’s willing to be rejected by men…are you? Or do you allow fear to keep you from witnessing?
2. What other excuses do you use to NOT witness?
3. How can you show love to others without condoning their sin?
4. How does being a follower of Christ look to you? Do people see Jesus in you?
BTY, I had the honor of having one of my post published on Go Forth and Fish. You can check it out here!