Are you finished being God?

Matthew 7:1-6 gives us the ultimate excuse to tell people to back off.

We usually don’t like others prying into our messes, so we say something like, “Don’t judge me.”

The Kingdom ethic is, of course, a bit more involved than us just trying to get people to back off. Scot McKnight’s new commentary, The Sermon on the Mount, gives some good insight. One of the messes we get into is that word “judge.” It’s simply too broad so finding the context is key.

McKnight points out the Kingdom ethic John Wesley used: “The judging that Jesus condemns here is thinking about another person in a way that is contrary to love.”

The Kingdom ethic is learning that we are not God. God alone is judge. We don’t need to be a part of a society of condemnation. We are in a Kingdom that calls us to humility and is marked by love for our neighbor.

To this short point, I am really liking McKnight’s approach to the Sermon, especially as I try to capture the power of this message through the lens of Dallas Willard and The Divine Conspiracy.


2 thoughts on “Are you finished being God?

  1. Jesus’ use of “judge” in Mt. 7:1f. is about a condemnation contrary to love. Yet I think the context of 7:1-5 shows that this is focused on judging a “brother” who has a “speck.” For Jesus, his “brother” (and sister and mother) is the one who does the will of his Father (Mt. 12:46-50), in other words, a disciple. So Jesus here is warning his disciples not to condemn a fellow disciple due to a small speck (sin). By condemning such a disciple, one commits a much bigger sin (a “log”) and is then in danger of God’s condemnation.

    This “family” context (of brothers and sisters, fellow disciples) is also significant because later in Matthew, Jesus will speak strong words that judge negatively the scribes and Pharisees (especially in Mt. 23). The difference is that they are not disciples of Jesus, and are in danger of God’s judgment.

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