We are never to allow people to walk down a pathway of sin because of a misunderstood view of Luke 6:37 or Matthew 7:1. In love, the church is to confront people in their sin with a goal of restoration (see Matt. 18:15-20). In love the church confronts unbelievers regarding their sin in evangelism (which is not sinful). Many people who pursue various forms of sinful autonomy misquote Jesus’ “judge not” statement while demanding a proper execution of justice which involves judgment. The statement must be interpreted properly.
Historically, the most famous verse of Scripture has been John 3:16. It’s like the gospel in one verse. It has been preached, quoted, and memorized more than any verse in the history of the world. Tim Tebow once wrote John 3:16 on his eye paint under his eye during the National Championship game for college football. Following the game, as he was eating supper, it was announced that some 94 million people had googled “John 3:16” during the game.
Long before Tim Tebow stormed the college football field, an eccentric man named Rollen Stewart, popular for his rainbow-colored wig and his “John 3:16” sign. He would position himself in strategic locations for popular televised baseball, football, and basketball games in the 70s and 80s. Rollen Stewart, known as Rock ’n’ Rollen and Rainbow Man, popularized John 3:16 by the use of signs and well planned campaigns.
Today, it seems that another verse is the most quoted verse of our day and it’s Jesus’ words found in Matthew 7 and Luke 6:
“Judge not, and you will not be judged.”
As with any verse in the Bible, you can alter the meaning if you interpret it outside of the proper context and outside of the biblical teaching of that particular subject. In short, the statement by Jesus has become one of the most misquoted and abused verses in the entire Bible.
Jesus Never Taught People Not to Judge Others
In our day, it’s common to hear people begin a statement or a personal confession with the preface, “no judgment” or “don’t judge” or “judge not.” In fact, the LGBTQA+ community often uses the statement by Jesus to condone their lifestyle and to shield themselves from judgment as they engage in hypersexualized behavior that violates God’s design for humanity, marriage, and the family.
It may come as a complete shock, but Jesus never condemned judgment. In fact, he commands that people engage in judgment. The statement by Jesus taken from his famous sermon known as the sermon on the mount. Jesus gathered his followers, apostles, and the growing curious souls from the surrounding communities together where he delivered his sermon with power and authority.
The statement by Jesus regarding judgment is centered on hypocritical judgment that refuses to judge properly. Therefore, to misinterpret Jesus’ “judge not” statement by imposing a meaning that prohibits judgment not only butchers Jesus’ intention, but it likewise proves that we must carefully and rightly interpret holy Scripture.