What Jesus meant by judge not lest ye be judged


One of the most commonly argued and debated portions of the bible is the book of Mattew 7: 1 where Jesus said: “Judge not, lest ye be judged”. This part of the scripture has been interpreted by so many Christians and religious leaders, still yet, so many people are yet to understand the mystery behind the scripture.

I have heard people say to themselves; “What was Jesus trying to say by telling us judge not lest ye be judged. Because of this quoted verse, so many people have assumed that it is bad to judge others while some other people have countered this by saying that if people are not judged, they won’t be reproved of their actions and so, there will be no repentance. This is one of the favorite weapons thrown by unbelievers to accuse the church of God and Christians of hypocrisy.

Due to this statement, it is pertinent for the non-Christians, the believers and the Christians to have a basic knowledge and understanding of what Jesus Christ means by saying judge not lest ye be judged. At the mention of this verse, everybody assumes that no one has the right to judge anybody for any cause at any point in time. The problem which lies here is that this verse has been taken off the context and this is why there are misunderstandings, misused and misquoted words when it comes to this very portion of the scripture.

While Jesus spoke these words to the multitude of people from Judaea and Jerusalem and the people from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon who came to listen to him, he was never saying that people shouldn’t judge one another but he warned against doing it the wrong way.

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Jesus wasn’t confused or drunk when he made this statement. He knew clearly that if he told the people to judge one another’s actions, such privilege could be abused or violated to make a mockery and bring shame to people hypocritically. He went further to complement his speech by saying, “and, by your standard of measure, it shall be measured to you” — Matthew 7:1-2.  Through this teaching, Jesus didn’t say that we should not make a judgment about the right and wrong but he further explained that we shouldn’t make a judgment hypocritically.

If you can observe the reason why Jesus warned against judgment, you would be able to notice the danger and boomerang of passing judgments on someone else’s shortcomings. The danger and consequence of passing judgment on someone is that it would come back to haunt us. Whether we like it or not, we will have our own standard come back to haunt us when we pass judgments on the actions of others.

Seeing someone else’s faults and flaws shouldn’t be a cause for us to judge or make a mockery of such person but it should be a call for us to examine our own lives. We all know that no one is perfect or above mistake, but we should expect it anyway. We often wave off our misdeeds and mistakes by saying that we need God’s grace and power to live a life above mistakes but we turn around and expect others to be perfect but in reality, we do not meet up to such standard —This is what Jesus preached and warned against.


We Would All Be Judged

Obviously, God will still judge us at every point of our lives; whether now or when we leave the world. God made it perfectly clear to everyone in the Bible, and in the teaching of Jesus Christ that there will be a Last Judgment which will come at the end of the world, as well as a judgment at the end of our earthly journey.

This is not a question of avoiding God’s judgment on our lives but a question on how we’ll be judged for our actions. There is a Golden Rule with divine backing which states that we should do to others, what you want others to do to you. If we should treat people mercifully with love from the heart, God in heaven will also do the same to us but if we decide to treat others unmercifully, we should expect the same fate to come to us from God.

Not A Prohibition On Cautioning People’s Actions

When using the words, judge not lest ye be judged, Jesus did not intend to stop you from admonishing people when they go astray or commit any form of sinful behavior. Some people have misquoted Jesus and took him out of context by buying the idea of insisting that every man is free to decide what is actually good for himself. This has shut down the moral judgments on cautioning the conduct of others. In as much as every person is given the free will to define what is morally good for himself, this should not deter you as a believer from cautioning such people against sinful life.

In the book of Mattew 28:19-20, Jesus Christ told his ministers to move into the world, bring people into the kingdom and make them disciples of all nations by baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and of the Holy Spirit and to teach them the word of God just as he have commanded them to do.

As a follower of Christ, admonishing sinners and reproving the believers is a spiritual work of mercy which you must engage yourself at a constant period. This portion of the scripture should not be used as a cover or an excuse to ungodly or immoral behavior.

There is a distinction between Judging others and judging ourselves, we should judge others only when we have gone through the process of examining our own lives; if we don’t examine our own lives and correct it, our judgment would come back to haunt us. The priority of Jesus was for our own lives to change first then we change others.

We hope that you have understood what Jesus meant by this statement, Judge not lest ye be judged? Feel free to drop your comments.

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