Matthew 7:1-6 Judge not, that ye be not judged. (2) For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (3) And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (4) Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? (5) Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (6) Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Today, we will take a look at the last two lessons the Lord teaches us in these verses
HELPING OTHERS with HONESTY – 7:5b
This part of the verse makes it very clear that we ARE to judge others and help them to remove sin from their life. Many often forget these words from Jesus in John 7:24, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment,” and in Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”
In order to help others, you need to have a Level Head – You must be able to see clearly. Sin clouds your vision – but once you remove the beam, then you can see clearly to help out someone else remove the mote. It is amazing what a difference it makes when you can see clearly. I am thinking about the drive to and from the hospital at the birth of our youngest daughter Willow. She was born the night of what was to supposed to be the biggest snow storm of the winter season (actually, the day we went home was worse, but that is another story all together). As we were one of the few cars on the highway with snow falling at a quick and thick pace, you could not see any road lines. You had to guess where you lane was, which was a lot of fun!
The fact of the matter is, once we see something more clearly, we are better equipped to help them. We see the entire situation for what it is – not assuming anything – and can better understand their heart and desire, not just their actions.
Another characteristic you need to help others is a Loving Heart in order to actually cast the mote out. This is tough work that can be somewhat painful. Tough love is telling your family member, friend, etc., that sin is sin and it needs to be removed. Sometimes, surgery is a necessary evil. We must be willing to not only lovingly and firmly cast out a mote from someone’s eye – we must be willing to let others do the same to us when sin is called to our attention. Sometimes you need help – find those with a clear vision.
HOLDING ON to HOLINESS – 7:6
Now Jesus brings this lesson full circle and warns against the other extreme - careless appraisal of others. Christians are warned against putting sacred and holy things before those who would receive them only to defile them, like scavenger dogs would defile something very precious or like repulsive swine would defile costly pearls. Some Christians will take 7:1 so far out of context that they will not judge anyone or anything and will not practice Biblical separation.
This is why I believe Jesus follows up the first illustration with this one. The key to life is balance – there is balance in living a biblical, God honoring life. There are certain people that we know that we need to separate from:
- Dogs – They are the viscous people that represent the snarling and scoffing people who are always critical of God and His Word. The dogs are always on the attack to try to disprove that which is true.
- Swine – They are the unclean people who are literally wallowing in their sin and filth. You can’t jump into the middle of a pig pen and clean it up – the longer you stay in, the dirtier you get!
We need to hold on to that which is holy by separating ourselves from the dogs and swine of this world.
It is wrong to condemn a person – we don’t have that authority. But we are to righteously judge others around us. Before we can do that, we must make sure that we can see clearly. Is there some sin, some beam that is in your eye, which is preventing you from seeing clearly? Is that beam preventing you from separating yourself from the dogs and swine of this world? Cast out the sin in your life so that you may help someone else out to do the same.