#21 in series out of the gospel of John.
It has begun … they have started to hold special meetings to build their case against him, and there will be NO GOING BACK. It was one thing to turn water into wine, and yes, they heard he had spent time with some Samaritans; but then the one they call ‘Jesus’ broke the law and healed someone on the Sabbath. When questioned, it got worse—he claimed he was only doing what his father would have done . . . why, he claimed that he was sent by God!
And then Jesus said of himself, “I can do nothing on My own. I judge only as I hear, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5.30
That is what was happening on the ground, in the minds and behind the scenes with the religious folk who were realizing that Jesus was not just turning over tables, he was over-turning “religion”. But allow me to draw another application—a direct, pointed one from this statement of Jesus, that is so good and so right for you and me today.
Your attention, please: There is only one right judge; it is not you and it is not me, because there is only one righteous Judge. Only someone who has a pure heart and pure motives can judge aright another person … which leaves only one … God. The judgment of God is perfect.
And yet as human beings, we pass judgment on others for a variety of reasons, most times not stopping to think why we do so. But Jesus said his judgment was based on seeking God’s will … so, not just from a righteous perspective, but with no motive other than seeing God’s heart and mind honored. Again I remind us that Jesus spoke only what the Father had him speak, he put his hand to only what the Father gave him to do. Jesus lived the presence of God on earth by seeking out God’s presence regularly – spending time in prayer to hear the words of God, to see what the Father was doing. So let us live. The judgment of Jesus came from the heart of an impartial, holy God.
Whereas when I judge someone, it might be unfair because he has injured my pride, and so in my own mind, I must reduce him somehow so that he cannot hurt me. My summation of another’s actions might be minimized because of inner prejudice I feel about some association or affiliation I know the person to have. Here’s the thing: almost always, when we set ourselves up to judge another, we do so in ignorance – we do not ever possess all the facts, and we never have the right.
Here are some of Jesus’ thoughts on us judging others: Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. For others will treat you as you treat them. Whatever measure you use in judging others, it will be used to measure how you are judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, 'Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye. From Matthew 7
And our Lord’s brother, James wrote, “you are not a judge who can decide whether the law is right or wrong. Your job is to obey it. God alone, who made the law, can rightly judge among us. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to condemn your neighbor?” from chapter 4
So, let’s endeavor to making judgment of others ‘off limits’. Let’s assume what is true – we do not walk in their shoes, and we do not have all the information – and even if we did, we are not blameless. Only One is perfect and blameless; only One judges from perfect love and holiness – our Lord God. Let’s leave it to him.
I pray you will be as challenged as I by Jesus’ daily connection with his Father. Jesus spoke only what the Father had him speak, he put his hand to only what the Father gave him to do. Jesus lived the presence of God on earth by seeking out God’s presence regularly – spending time in prayer to hear the words of God, to see what the Father was doing. In so doing, there were no regrets. Let us so live.