Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Mat 7:1-5)
We have all had the “do not judge” card pulled on us when we pointed out some wickedness in an abuser who is pretending to be a Christian. “Now, don’t judge. We are all sinners, you know.” That nonsense. And let me show you that it is indeed nonsense by asking and answering just one simply question that should be quite obvious in this Scripture passage:
Who is Jesus speaking to here?
“You hypocrite.” Pretty plain, right? And yet how is this verse usually applied? It is typically wrongly applied to the righteous who are pointing out the hypocrite. Duh, right? Jesus is rebuking the wicked, and specifically he is calling out the religious wicked. And yet today so often this is the proof text of the wicked man! “Now, don’t judge,” he and his allies tell us. “Matthew 7, you know.” That is 180 degrees out of whack. These words are applied by Jesus for the very purpose of judging the wicked hypocrite, the false Christian hiding in wool, you see. They are targeted at abusers who attack and accuse the righteous, finding some minute speck in the victim’s eye while all the while having a log of sin in their own.
We see it all the time, right? Abusers parading as eminent saints, going around looking for a grain of dust in the life of their victim while their own evil protrudes like a giant redwood log that they can’t even see past. Thus, the “speck” they claim is in their victim’s life is a pure invention of their own evil heart. They are incapable of seeing past their own evil.
So let’s stop permitting the wicked and their naive, duped allies, to lay this common distortion of Matthew 7 on us. Don’t wear the “speck” these blind hypocrites accuse you of having in your life. They are blind fools. And, I must also say, so are preachers and teachers in our churches who use this text to let the wicked man off the hook.
The righteous person, the genuine Christian, is capable of seeing that hypocrite’s log.
So judge the wicked in righteousness and expose his evil.
NOTE: The last two verses of Matthew 7 show us who the people were that Jesus was addressing in Matthew 5-7 (the Sermon on the Mount)
And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. (Mat 7:28-29)
Crowds. Crowds of Jews. People who were born into the Old Testament covenant people of God. So you will find parts of this Sermon addressed to true Israelites, but other sections such as this one (7:1-5) are targeted at wicked hypocrites who, though physically born as children of Abraham, were not true Israelites (like the Pharisees). Therefore it is an error to conclude that because Jesus uses the term “brother” in these verses He must be speaking to real Christians. Here “brother” is more properly considered as a synonym for “fellow Israelite.”