14 October 2013

Encountering Jesus ~ Instead judge correctly

"Don't judge me! You don't have the right to judge me!"

I heard one child yell that to another child (neither was one of mine). 

It was nothing more than a "playground" disagreement - but it is one that essentially repeats itself everyday... in the grocery store, the gym, the board room, the classroom, the internet and blogging world... maybe not so overtly. But it happens.


Because humans seem predisposed to judge. And we all seem predisposed to depreciate, disparage and criticize any type of less than favorable judgement directed towards us.

When I did a cursory search of how many times the word judge occurs in the Bible, there were more than 1000 results. God knew it would be an issue. What makes it confusing is that there are some verses that say "Judge not... lest ye be judged..." There are also other verses (like below) where the exhortation is to judge - but do it correctly.

Does Jesus contradict Himself? Is He being inconsistent? I've asked those questions before, but I've never taken the time to actually research it. With teenagers sometimes making accusations... with a college student being exposed to different teaching and ideas that intrigue but don't necessarily mesh with what he's been taught... because of other recent events... I think I'm gonna take some time and really see what God's Word says.

I think it is important and I'm guessing that correct interpretation and application will require gentleness, grace, balance as well as implying diligence research, perseverance to really see what God's Word says, and lots of work.

If you want to tag along with me - I'd love your company on this little side journey in the Encountering Jesus series. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!

Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?” 
“You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath?...
Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.

At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” 
Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.” 
At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

The word translated judge in verse 24 above is the Green word krínō. It means any and sometimes all of the following: 
  • properly, to separate (distinguish), i.e. judge; come to a choice (decision, judgment) by making a judgment – either positive (a verdict in favor of) or negative (which rejects or condemns).
  • to pick out (choose) by separating" (as also used in Homer, Herodotus, Aeschyl., Xenophon, Plato).
  • typically refers to making a determination of right or wrong (innocence or guilt), especially on an official (legal) standard. We only judge accurately by intelligent comparison and contrast based on God's word, i.e. to approve (prefer) what is correct and reject what is inferior (wrong).
  • used of "bringing to trial" (the trying of fact) in a court of law.
  • originally meant "separate." So Homer, of Ceres separating the grain from the chaff (Iliad, v, 501). Thence, 'to distinguish, to pick out, to be of opinion, to judge' (from http://biblesuite.com/greek/2919.htm)

Jesus exhorts His listeners to stop judging based on visual perception or how things seem to me, but rather based on conformity to who God is and to what God has declared right, pure and just.

That was easy to type - not so easy to swallow or accept - and without abundant measures of His grace and mercy, impossible to do. And it flies totally contrary to lovely sounding words (like the ones below) which represent the thought of this present age, but do not correlate to what the Word of God teaches.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” 
~Henry David Thoreau

this week's gratitude list
(#'s 4268 - 4286)

little girls who really are almost always happy

time with Brendan

bright blue skies, brightly colored fall leaves and truly drinking in all that beauty

Saturday morning donuts

speech and language help in the works - meeting tomorrow!

the gift of fresh veggies in a big box... unexpected, not asked for... but so delightful

motivated to try new recipes (when I can) just because I'm sharing 31 days of meals with the world

a new place for Nana and Pop pop

Saturday morning doughnuts with friends, finally, here in Michigan

re-establishing a favorite tradition

that re-establishing said favorite tradition means maybe we're starting to find a new rhythm in life Stateside

Brendan successfully navigated airports to get back to school, all by himself for the very first time

Irish music concert at church... and watching people not sure if they should clap or not

Irish music concert at church... and watching how my niece just couldn't help not dance to "Cripple Creek!"

visiting with Miss Angaber and her family

a delightfully lovely afternoon with friends from Grandville Baptist - and an absolutely amazing meal

my big girls doing beautifully teaching the primaries during Sunday School - and hearing all about from ladies in the church

an encouraging meeting with the missions committee of the church

deciding that at least this time, sleep was more important than being to school on time

Ten most recent posts in this series: 


  1. Stopping in from Ann Voskamp's Multitude Mondays. This is a great big topic to delve into, Richelle, but a needed one. Yes, conformity to God is our basis for saying something is right or wrong--but there are arguments in that regard as well. I enjoyed your gratitude list!

    1. very true - there are probably as many arguments as there are people. judging isn't something i can fix in other people; but i can, by God's grace, work on allowing Him to change this heart that judges to somehow elevate myself or compare or pronounce a sentence on another and instead discerningly judges right and wrong with the goal of bringing glory to God, honoring Him and obeying Him.


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