Famous Bible Quotes: "Judge not..."

From our famous Bible quotes section: "Judge not..." For this section of Famous Bible Quotes, See text below for an simple explanation of this classic passage.

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at 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,’ and behold, the log is 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. Matthew 7:1-6

Do not judge so that you will not be judged. This famous Bible verse is among those famous Bible quotes that is trotted out by some of the most unlikely of people at the most unlikely times on the most unlikely of occasions.

It is often misrepresented to say that Jesus meant we could never say anything critical of anyone at any time for any reason. This is flat out incorrect. What this does NOT mean: It does not mean we are to suspend our critical faculties. It does not mean we are not to discern what is right or wrong in our lives or in the lives of others. Nor does it mean that no one is to sit as a judge in a legal setting.

What is DOES mean is that we are not to have, as John Stott said, a "censorious spirit" whereby we squelch the spirit of another or become critical of others in order to lift ourselves higher. How do we know? Because there are plenty of places in the Bible that do call us to make judgement calls, and even correct others in a loving, humble spirit. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. What should humble us is to know that the exactitude in which we make judgements about others is the same exactitude in which we will be judged by our Lord.

Why do you look at 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,’ and behold, the log is 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. It is analogous, Jesus says, when we judge with a "censorious spirit" to trying to correct someone's minor problem when we ourselves have a major problem in our own lives (the first problem being that awful condemnatory spirit!) This is a classic example of Jesus teaching in a Rabbinic style with hyperbole. The Jewish Rabbinc style of teaching often used exageration to make a point...which makes for quite interesting word pictures, as in this case. It drives the point home.

For this section of famous Bible quotes, this is a simple explanation of this passage and is not meant to be a technical commentary. For an outstanding explanation of these verses and others from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) try The Message of The Sermon on the Mount by John Stott. Have a request about other famous Bible quotes? See our general request page and shoot me a request.

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