17 January 2021
God’s command not to judge others in a pandemic – Matthew 7:1-6

“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 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? 4 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? 5 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.”

A. Personal Responsibility

Before we judge others, are we sure that our lives bear close inspection? (v1-2)
Question 1: Why is a judgemental attitude such a problem?

We’re all in the same boat: the specks and logs are both interfering with our sight. (v4)
Question 2: Surely the image of a log is a bit over-the-top?  Why does Jesus use it?

How you sin affects what you see (v5)
Question 3: How does sin affect our judgement?

Repent, because God wants you to help others. (v5)
Question 4: What is a good positive way to apply the teaching of v1-5?

B. Spiritual Aspiration

“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” – v6

There are some options for what this means:

Don’t bother sharing the gospel with Gentiles and other non-believers.
Question 5: Is there any justification for this position?

Don’t waste your breath on people who are not receptive.
Question 6: Do we really need any encouragement not to do this?

Maintain the order and sanctity of faithful worship.
Question 7: Some denominations place considerable restriction on who can and who cannot receive Holy Communion. Is this a possible application of v6?

Give the first and best of what you have and are to God, and no-one else. 
Question 8: In what way does the image of the pearl relate to the Kingdom of God, and those in it?