How do you view others?
Has anyone ever given you one of those pictures that look like an ink blot, but if you look at it the right way it
becomes a man's head or some other distinctive picture? If you have you know that if you look at the picture
quickly or casually, there seems to be nothing outstanding about it. As you begin to focus on the contrasting
color, a clear, distinct picture will begin to emerge.
It all comes down to the way we view what we are looking at. This morning, Jesus is going to share on some
spiritual pictures for us to examine, His hope is that we also will begin to look differently that what most people see as they view others.
How do you view others?
A. As we begin this chapter, we are faced with a very challenging passage that must be walked through carefully or we are sure to fall into errors.
1. Is Jesus communicating to us, we should never come to a conclusion when we see others engaging in sinful lifestyles?
EXAMPLE: If a believer is living in sexual immorality, drug abuse, stealing or deceiving others, should we not be concerned by their actions?
2. Very clearly, Jesus said that we should not judge others, is that what he meant? Don't be concerned by what other people do?
B. The Jesus added an even stronger statement, how we judge others in how we will be judged.
1. If that doesn't stop you in your tracks, you didn't hear what Jesus just said.
a. The standard and harshness of your ability to judge others, is how you will be judged.
C. To properly understand what Jesus is presenting, we need to keep 4 things in mind:
1. If the person is an unbeliever, we have no business judging their sins at all.
EXAMPLE: What difference does it make if an unbeliever is living in sexual immorality or not, either way they are on the road to hell if they have not come into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
EXAMPLE: A sinful unbeliever is still destined to the same place a moral unbeliever is destined to.
1 Cor. 5:12,13 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.”
2. However, if they claim to be a believer, but are living in a sinful lifestyle, they could be ignorant to what the bible proclaims regarding the sin they are living in.
EXAMPLE: For the first 9 months, I was totally ignorant to what the bible proclaimed about sin, it wasn't until I was confronted with the truth of God's word that I was willing to make a choice to turn from my sins.
3. When a professing believer is living in a know sinful lifestyle, when the are unwilling to repent or take correction, the church is called to judge clearly in these matters and take action to protect the fellowship from the consequences of that sin.
1 Cor. 6:1-5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
a. Why did Jesus tell us not to judge others, but Paul exhorts believers to judge others.
b. We are not to judge their motives of those who are living in sin, we are only to share what God's word has to say about their sin and then act biblically when they are unwilling to turn from those sins.
Gal. 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
D. Although Paul told the believers in Corinth, to stop having fellowship with the man who was living in sexual immorality, however, their intention was not to reject him but bring him to repentance.
Mat. 18:15-17 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
1. We must resist condemning others because we don't know their heart or motives, however, action must be taken when they are confronted and are unwilling to yield to God's word.
2. Jesus is not saying we cannot make a judgement with the things we face, however, it is very easy for anyone of us to come to a quick and false conclusion regarding another person, if we are not willing to see the facts, talk with them about the issues and seek to find what is motivating them.
EXAMPLE: People who hate those who steal, however, if we don't know what motivated them; it is easy to draw the wrong conclusions.
Prov. 30:9 Remove falsehood and lies far from me; Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be poor and steal, And profane the name of my God.
e. It does not make it right, it does not make the sin any less grievous, and however, without knowing the truth, we cannot make clear judgments.
f. Some Christians have made the statement, "I don't judge other people but God has called me to be a fruit inspector"
1. Ever wonder what someone mean shen they makes that statement?
EXAMPLE: Workers who sit next to conveyor belts and throw out bad fruit
g. I don't see where God states that at all
EXAMPLE: Going into a garden and looking for good fruit to pick
D. The problem is obvious, can anyone one of us say, we have perfectly ripe fruit growing in our life?
a. Unless your fruit is perfect, is it your job to try and throw out those who don't meet your expectations?
b. If you are like me, you know we certainly have bruises and imperfections ourselves.
E. As we attempt to balance both sides of what the bible proclaims regarding judging others, the key to unlock this problem is very simple, do you have compassion upon those who are living in sin, or do you look down upon them.
EXAMPLE: Did you enjoy algebra in school?
1. If you have 2 correct variables of a problem, you can find the correct answer.
a. A person's motive is an unknown variable, we don't know a person's heart.
b. However, we can see the results of their outward behavior
1. What can we learn from this?
c. When a person is involved in the signs of outward sins but we don't know why, we can find the answer we are looking for.
d. They are not walking properly in a ongoing relationship with Jesus.
e. When believers come along side those who are involved in sin, and give grace and love to them, but we don't look down upon them but love them even when we must act strongly toward them, the will see Jesus in us.
G. That is the point that Jesus is making in next few verses
A. If we are looking for bad fruit in other people, we need to look at our own fruit growing in our life to see how tasty it is.
Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
B. When we are honest with ourselves, when we examine our own fruit, we should come out with a completely different attitude towards others.
Rom. 7:21-24 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
EXAMPLE: Jesus is the perfect fruit inspector, He knows the truth, He knows the type of fruit we have, He has perfect fruit growing in His own life, but He never looked down upon anyone nor tried to discard anyone.
John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
EXAMPLE; I have shared over the last year, how God is changing my heart, from being angry at those who sin, toward having compassion upon them.
C. When you begin to see what sin does to people, after you learn how easy it is to fall into sin yourself, once you understand God's heart to save anyone, from any sin, how can we be angry with others?
D. Yet, there are those who have a huge log sticking out of their eye, but they believe it is their job to try and remove any small dust particles from everyone else's eye.
EXAMPLE: Have you ever had a job that you have been doing for a long time and know very well, but a new hire comes in and after 2 days believe that he is way better than you at your job?
E. If we can clearly see our own sin, we are a little slower and more careful to try and believe we can fix others.
EXAMPLE: I can teach, preach and rebuke those who don't evangelize to unbelievers, but I want to encourage, exhort and have compassion upon those who have trouble doing this because I have a redwood in my eye
1. I am a very poor social talker; normally I am very quite with people I do not know.
2. If I choose to encourage others, I myself am being encouraged to do the same, if I look down upon others, I am communicating I don't have any problems, issues, or sins in my own life.
A. When we casually view this verse, it may seem a bit out of place.
1. What does removing the garbage out of our life; have to do with feeding pigs and dogs?
EXAMPLE: Cindy always used to climb into our garbage can and eat what we had thrown away
a. What Jesus is stating is much different than when I had to deal with my dog.
B. Although we are not to condemn others, Jesus did warn believers to be careful of what they share and with whom.
1. We should have a desire to share the gospel with those we meet, however, to those who are outwardly hostile toward the gospel, it is better to keep our mouths shut and let our lives speak for themselves, than to speak the truth and be eaten alive by those who are hostile toward the gospel.
2. By saying this, we must make a judgment of those who we are speaking to.
a. Are they hostile, or open to the gospel?
b. However, Jesus told us not to judge others
c. Yet, Peter also gave us a different perspective
1 Pet. 3:13-17 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
d. So what does Jesus want to do, and how should we act?
C. We can be like a jury member in court, we can hear, see and evaluate the evidence that is before us, we can make prayerful, biblical, godly judgments but we are not to sit as the judge, to rule on where they are going to spend eternity or decide if they can be reached with the gospel, or look down upon them as if we are better than they are.
D. Only God has the ability to judge, in righteousness, justice and truth, at best, we only have limited, information that is not always accurate, in our evaluation of others.
Pro.18:17 The first one to plead his cause seems right, Until his neighbor comes and examines him.
EXAMPLE: Other the years I have been involved in many situations where when I heard one side of the argument it seemed so logical, until I heard the other side of the story.
1. Even when we hear both sides to a story, we still cannot know the motivation was upon them.
E. Jesus point is clear, we are not to condemn others, we are not to quickly evaluate others, we are not to decide the motivation of others, we are too prayerfully, biblically, lovingly, and mercifully judge by what we know but always have compassion for them.
F. However, when it comes to those who are hostile toward the gospel, there is wisdom in knowing when to keep your mouth closed and let your life be a witness and when to share the gospel with those who will listen.
1. How do we know when to share and with whom?
a. Jesus now gives us 2 principles to build upon
A. As you read this text, you are given some great encouragement but at the same time, many have missed a main point in what Jesus is communicating.
1. As I stated a minute ago, when we don't know who to share with, we are called to seek the Lord in prayer, pray for God to open the doors and for the holy Spirit to give us boldness to share with others.
a. If we don't seek for the Lord's leading, timing and boldness, we will be ineffective in what we try and do.
John 16:8-15 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
2. Others have taken this verse to mean they can pray for whatever they want and believe Jesus will give it to them; they have obviously missed the point.
a. "Didn't Jesus say, if we knock and seek, we will get what we are looking for?"
Mat. 21:21,22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
b. What Jesus said must always be placed in context and supported by other passages of scripture, to properly understand what the bible communicates.
1 John 5:14,15 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
EXAMPLE: To try and justify there first error, they must compound the problem by stating that Jesus was rich, and Jesus wants every believer to be like Him, what you pray for is what you will get.
B. "Jesus said He had no where to lay His head, Peter said, Silver and Gold I do not have"
c. When this verse is used in context, we realize, the good things God desires to give us, is not for our own, selfish satisfaction, but to give to others that we may have a blessed life.
EXAMPLE: Blessed are the merciful, poor in spirit, pure in heart, those who hunger after righteousness
C. However, if we are praying for the things that are in God's will, we are to pray in faith, but we are called to continue to pray until the prayer is answered.
a. Here is where many believers fall short.
b. They pray until they get tired, discouraged, or frustrated and then give up
c. Which puts us into a very challenging position?
d. I am I willing to stand upon that promise until He answers?
Luke 18:1-8 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
C. We live in a society that demands everything yesterday, we don't want to wait for anything and they want it perfect.
EXAMPLE: My kids tell me when they worked fast food, if it takes longer than a couple of minutes to make the meal, customers get angry, and heaven help the cooks if they forgot to hold the onions!
1. If you were to go home, could you make dinner in a couple of minutes and make it perfect and keep making perfect dinners in minutes, hour upon hour?
D. When we put this text alongside of what Jesus previously said, we are to pray for those who are hostile towards the gospel; we are not to look down upon them in condemning them.
E. If Jesus did not love us, had He not revealed Himself to us, if Jesus had not been willing to be nailed upon the cross for us, we would be no different than they are.
1. We were once blind, hostile and ignorant to the only one, who can save us from eternal separation from God, yet God loved us enough to reach us with the gospel to save us and we are called to demonstrate Jesus heart to those we meet.
Rom. 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
1 The second principle is given in verse 12
A. If you want to sum up the entire law of the OT, it is quite simple, if fact it is stated in this verse alone, but we need to read carefully that we don't miss what is being said.
1. Jesus did not say to do to others as they have done to you.
a. That is the law of justice
2. Jesus said to do to others, as you would like them to do unto you.
a. That is the law of grace
B. When we are not quick to judge others, because we understand our own sins, when we are willing to have compassion on them, even if we are faced with hostility, we hold our tongue toward them, when we are in prayer for them; we will begin to grow a heart of grace on behalf of them.
1. And grow to do to them, as we would like to be done to us.
C. As we close this morning, we learn a strong, hard, lesson, I know I cannot do it without the Lord's power, leading and love in my heart and life.
D. Like my opening illustration, it depends upon how we view it, from our own limited veiwpoint, or through the eyes of Jesus that has promised to love, show mercy and give grace even when we must judge the things we are confronted with.