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A Time to Judge

Many of us grew up hearing the quote, “Judge not according to appearance but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24 KJV).

I don’t remember reading those words in light of the motive and moment in which Jesus said them.

Now I’m looking at them again in a story of rivals who were accusing our Teacher of breaking the law by healing a man on the Sabbath.

I’m also finally ready to see how important it is to know that, in the days of King James, translators chose the word “judge” from a word that had a range of meaning that included “to distinguish”, “to assess”, “to decide”, “to test”, “to judge”, or “to condemn”.

So, I think I may finally be hearing something that rings true to the Teacher who did nothing that wasn’t loving. Now I hear the love judge saying, “Why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly” (John 7:23-24 NLT).

Has me thinking again of how early in life I also must have heard “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6).

Seems like only yesterday that I’ve begun to see that the best time to “judge” may be when we are ready to do it at our own expense for the good of another.


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20 Responses to “A Time to Judge”

  1. poohpity says:

    Mart, I think you reposted those comments under the old topic rather than this one.

    I was thinking how sad it is to think of the religious leaders in the time Jesus walked the earth as rivals but they were. They wanted people to follow them rather than pointing them to Jesus and His teaching. It seems Jesus did that by asking them questions so that they could see the condition of their own hearts which would be like the wounds of a friend rather than flattering them even when they are with wrong motives. One can promote healing the other just promotes them staying the same and into thinking they are just.

  2. jeff1 says:

    Mart says:

    Seems like only yesterday that I’ve begun to see that the best time to “judge” may be when we are ready to do it at our own expense for the good of another.

    Life has taught me that words come easy but actions do not because circumstances are a part of life that often dictates them.

    I judge another by my own standards and they judge me by theirs but thankfully God does not judge us by His.

    I had a disciplined childhood and trying to keep the commandments I soon realized was humanly impossible so I accepted that those who said Christ was the only one who saved was the answer to disobedience.

    I believed that so I tried to live my life in a way I believed would be pleasing to God but knowing that I could not do it perfectly.

    I discovered the mind is a minefield when it comes to doubt and so when I failed God as I so often did I found Satan’s words coming back to haunt me.

    That and listening to clichés plus my life now in turmoil led to a mental breakdown.

    I was not in a good place and while I had always associated hell with a fiery furnace I discovered it is actually freezing cold and having no emotions at all which was me having a psychotic episode.

    I had to be injected and given drugs to keep me calm and this had the effect of me walking around like a zombie.

    I could not understand how I could be so far out of it and yet so aware until my friend who studied her bible from childhood visited me and explained to me that no matter what demonic force was working in me that God would not forsake me.

    I had not thought of my breakdown as a demonic force at work but my friend soon convinced me otherwise.

    I still have bad days as the struggles of the mind often takes it’s toil but when I take refuge in the one who has overcome the demonic force that threatens me I find peace in a world where darkness still reigns.

    Smile an everlasting smile
    A smile can bring you near to me
    Don’t ever let me find you gone
    ‘Cause that would bring a tear to me

    This world has lost its glory
    Let’s start a brand new story
    Now my love, right now
    There’ll be no other time
    And I can show you how, my love

    Talk in everlasting words
    And dedicate them all to me
    And I will give you all my life
    I’m here if you should call to me

    You think that I don’t even mean
    A single word I say

    It’s only words, and words are all I have
    To take your heart away

    You think that I don’t even mean
    A single word I say

    Its only words, and words are all I have
    To take your heart away
    Its only words, and words are all I have
    To take your heart away
    Its only words, and words are all I have
    To take your heart away

  3. Beloved says:

    Judging at our own expense for the good of another…. Sounds like death to me, Jesus is the way.

  4. Beloved says:

    Thinking of Jesus words, count the cost. It is costly to follow Jesus. Popularity, feeling self-righteous. All at the expense of my soul. Very costly indeed. But where else would I go Jesus? Only you have the way to eternal life! Maybe if I understood what goodness really feels like…but then Life is not feeling based some say. Guess I’ll just have to trust that there’s something better beyond the grave. If I don’t, well, then what is the point of my life? My very existence? To praise and worship God, my creator. I have no right to tell my creator what to do with His creation.
    The songs say I’ll be happy if I trust and obey, follow my Savior, etc. Hard to reach, but peace I think is a better word description. I can always find that, peace that passes ALL understanding, feelings, etc.

  5. jeff1 says:

    Why me Lord?
    What have I ever done
    To deserve even one
    Of the blessings I’ve known
    Why me Lord?
    What did I ever do
    That was worth love from you
    And the kindness you’ve shown

    Lord help me, Jesus
    I’ve wasted it so
    Help me, Jesus
    I know what I am
    Now that I know
    That I’ve needed you so
    Help me, Jesus
    My soul’s in your hand

    Try me Lord
    If you think there’s a way
    That I can repay
    What I’ve taken from you
    Maybe Lord
    I can show someone else
    What I’ve been through myself
    On my way back to you

    Lord help me, Jesus
    I’ve wasted it so
    Help me, Jesus
    I know what I am
    Now that I know
    That I’ve needed you so
    Help me, Jesus
    My soul’s in your hand
    Jesus
    My soul’s in your hand

  6. tedmgossard says:

    Good word, Mart. I think my best posts on my blog are when I’m doing that very thing. I’m sharing how I struggle in this way or that (and fail, at times, or certainly don’t measure up). Kind of what you’re doing here, even as you make this point. Thanks.

  7. poohpity says:

    I think what Mart was teaching about Jesus doing the right thing even when He received the wrong reaction of others because His heart was pure. On the outside it looked as if He was opposing the laws of God but in reality the judgement of His own heart(that of God) was doing it for the right reasons. Just like David took the bread of presence which seemed wrong but it was the good of his men who were actually doing what they were meant to do but the appearance of the act seemed to go against God. So the appearance or judgement of others may not be in concert with what was in the heart of person doing them.

  8. Beloved says:

    Proverbs 27:6 has been on my mind lately also. It’s hard to swim through the sea of what the culture expects and what its definition of friendship is. Loyalty, peace at any price, devotion, feeling good. There is no growth though according to scripture in the world’s ways, no spiritual growth that is.

  9. Beloved says:

    Right Pooh we tend to judge from our own hearts perceptions. One can only imagine what is already I the thoughts of the heart. I believe Jesus atonement judged all thoughts, intentions, and actions. Aren’t we so blessed!!

  10. Beloved says:

    already in the thoughts of the heart. Sorry

  11. narrowpathseeker says:

    A time to judge indeed….these are very frightening times and I would hope that we are all spending more time praying for others, examining ourselves, and preparing. There is sooooo much wrong doing going on all around us…how can we NOT judge?!!!

    However, I am soon Reminded of my own transgressions and subsequently humbled. Does that mean we are not supposed to judge the obvious wrongdoing of others and try to help them to look at themselves? In the very least shouldn’t we point out the parable of the self righteous religious leader and the tax collector who merely hung his head and asked for mercy? Encourage the Truth which can set free, confession, and asking for mercy.

    Should we be reminding proclaimed believers of Matthew 7 14-16 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

    Or Matthew 21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    I think we ALL need to be judging ourselves throughout the day, cleansing in His blood, asking for mercy and encouraging others to do the same.. well…those are my thoughts about it anyway. May we all count our Blessings as well.

  12. jeff1 says:

    When you walk through a storm
    Hold your head up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark
    At the end of a storm is a golden sky
    And the sweet silver song of a lark

    Walk on through the wind
    Walk on through the rain
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown

    Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone
    You’ll never, ever walk alone

    Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone
    You’ll never, ever walk alone.

  13. street says:

    Seems like only yesterday that I’ve begun to see that the best time to “judge” may be when we are ready to do it at our own expense for the good of another.

    still thinking of the woman and two mites. giving out of her poverty. Jesus giving out of His great love. as for us, we are mendicants. unloving and poor by any Biblical or moral standard, save for those in whom the Spirit of God dwells and are walking in this same Spirit. yes there are deceivers and we do and can trip up, but God’s arm is not too short or too weak to sustain His children. His grace is indeed great, His discipline is above reproach. God can and does extract the precious from the earth. conformed to the image of his Son, by His Hand.

    thinking of Matthew 5 and how impoverished we are of righteousness justice peace mercy spirit. judging from a human position of wealth power and education is flat out evil to God. this kind of judging will be rendered worthless and useless.

    Micah 3:11
    You rulers make decisions based on bribes; you priests teach God’s laws only for a price; you prophets won’t prophesy unless you are paid. Yet all of you claim to depend on the Lord. “No harm can come to us,” you say, “for the Lord is here among us.”

    Zephaniah 3:3
    Its leaders are like roaring lions hunting for their victims. Its judges are like ravenous wolves at evening time, who by dawn have left no trace of their prey.

    these were not the verse i was looking for, but they deal with how judging can go wrong. thinking of able’s blood. non sorry world, it still speaks. it is indeed good to fear the Lord and even better to come before Him with our burdens, don’t stop till you find rest in Him.

  14. street says:

    I don’t remember reading those words in light of the motive and moment in which Jesus said them.

    it seems to me one day of rest vs 6 days of work should have broken into a continues day of rest, but instead the culture broke into a day of rest leaving an even greater poverty.

  15. street says:

    Seems like only yesterday that I’ve begun to see that the best time to “judge” may be when we are ready to do it at our own expense for the good of another.

    could it be the best time to give, is when we love at our own expense or when judging?

    still struggling with these thoughts. i think because of the weakness of the flesh. Holy Spirit and Truth guide us through these thoughts.

    Judges 6:24-26

  16. Beloved says:

    Phil 2:3bBe humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
    Thinking of a humble man, a carpenters son from Galilee actually teaching the teachers of the Law about Gods heart, speaking Truth in words and action. God uses the simple to confound the wise. Interesting.

  17. street says:

    dependent and powerless comes to mind, a child. a child has a Father.

  18. street says:

    it seems to me one day of rest vs 6 days of work should have broken into a continues day of rest, but instead the culture broke into a day of rest leaving an even greater poverty.

    ops it seems to me one day of rest vs 6 days of work should have broken into a “continuous” day of rest, but instead the culture broke into a day of rest leaving an even greater poverty.

  19. Mart DeHaan says:

    Whoops, thank you, poohpity, for giving me a heads up that, at the beginning of the day yesterday, I mistakenly reposted comments from jeff1 and foreverblessed at the end of the last post rather than at the beginning of this one.

  20. street says:

    poo said,”One can promote healing the other just promotes them staying the same and into thinking they are just.”

    thinking about breaking the ground like a plow. only Jesus can do this safely. plowing can expose motives, but only God can bring conviction repentance and new birth.

    Isaiah 9:7
    There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

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