Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lesson 14: The Scales of Justice - Part 1 of 2

Brief 4-to-5 Minute Teaching Lesson

Why? and What is the Purpose? in My Life SERIES

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Lesson 14 of the Discipleship Making process.

I left you last time with this question, “How will you judge others?”

“Do not judge lest you be judged.” This statement falls with conviction on Jesus’ hearers like a ton of bricks. It is perhaps one of the most misunderstood passages of Scripture and difficult to swallow for many. Taken in the context of the statements that follow it, we see Jesus is speaking about two different subjects: 1) judging other people and 2) discerning what is good and what is evil, then taking the appropriate actions.

Read: Matthew 7:1-5, Luke 6:36-42

After His opening volley of words, “Do not judge lest you be judged”, Jesus begins to reinforce his position. He explains the system of justice in the family of God. The first part of God’s justice system He expresses this way, “For in the way you judge, you will be judged.” In other words, the method and manner in which a disciple judges another, is the same way in which God will judge the disciple.

The second part of God’s justice system is explained by Jesus in this way, “By your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.” In other words, the verdict and sentence that you extend to others is the same one you will receive from God. “Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned: forgive and you will be forgiven.” The disciple of Jesus needs to ponder these additional questions. Do I want God to condemn me or forgive me? If He condemns me do I want the punishment to be gentle or harsh?

Jesus indicates that the law of sowing and reaping is in effect when He says, “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap.” Not only does a person reap what he sows, but also it will return to him in like manner many times over. Just as one seed produces many seeds, furnishing both bread to the eater and seed to the sower, so are a person’s judgments in this world.

Jesus continues to teach His disciples about the judgment of others by speaking a parable to them. He begins the parable with two rhetorical questions. "A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?" And then finishes it with the command, “first take the log out of your own eye.”

Several conclusions can be drawn from the parable within the context of Jesus’ subject. First, Jesus equates the blind man as one who seeks to judge another. Second, the reason he is blind is because he has a log in his own eye that is blinding him. Third, the one who judges another should not be directing, leading or making disciples of anyone else since he cannot see clearly himself. Fourth, anyone who judges another, certainly should not follow someone like himself, since they are both blind and will fall into the same trap. And fifth, both blind individuals should find someone who has clear vision to lead them.

The point of the lesson is, “Do not criticize and attack, and you will not be criticized and attacked; forgive and you will be forgiven.”

In our next lesson, we will conclude Jesus’ teaching parable on the judgment of others and learn from Him some of the root causes of judging another.

With that, allow me to leave you with this question to consider:

“Is the root cause of judging another good or evil?”

Until next time . . . Godspeed!

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