I ran across this meme on Facebook this evening and thought I’d take a few minutes to let the Bible itself put the smackdown on this ignorant notion.
The idea that it is unlike Jesus to “judge” is simply ridiculous, as I have argued elsewhere. The remainder of this post, therefore, seeks only to document the words of Jesus in judgment of others. Not only did Jesus speak out against the sinful habits and thoughts of others; he seems to have done it routinely, as a matter of habit. Those who say that “judging” is sinful, therefore, accuse none other than Jesus himself of sin. Surely they do not realize that this is what they are doing.
Read carefully as Jesus address people’s ignorance, hypocrisy, evil hearts, evil deeds, faithlessness, uncleanness, and their lack of the love of God. Note also that he did not seem to make any effort to “sugar coat” his words, as is customary in our present society.
“You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.”
~Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:29
“Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?”
~Jesus Christ, Matthew 23:33
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”
~Jesus Christ, Matthew 7:11
“Why do you think evil in your hearts?”
~Jesus Christ, Matthew 9:4
“Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
~Jesus Christ, Matthew 12:34
“And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.”
~Jesus Christ, Luke 11:29
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
~Jesus Christ, John 3:19
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.”
~Jesus Christ, John 7:7
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”
~Jesus Christ, Matthew 23:27
“Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift?”
~Jesus Christ, Matthew 23:19
“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?”
~Jesus Christ, Matthew 17:17
“But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.”
~Jesus Christ, John 5:38
“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.”
~Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:2
“But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.”
~Jesus Christ, John 5:42
Now, if all that isn’t enough to establish that Jesus had no qualms at all judging the faults of men, let’s see how he spoke to the Christians in his imminent warnings about his second coming in the Revelation. As you read, imagine anyone other than Jesus saying such things today and think how quickly they would be jumped on by the “Judge Not” crowd for saying the very things the Lord himself once said.
“…you have left your first love.”
~Jesus Christ, Revelation 2:4
“I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”
~Jesus Christ, Revelation 2:9
“I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality. 15 Thus you also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.”
~Jesus Christ, Revelation 2:14-15
“Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”
~Jesus Christ, Revelation 2:20
“I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.”
~Jesus Christ, Revelation 3:1
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked”
~Jesus Christ, Revelation 3:16-17
Yes, yes, I’m quite aware of those who will argue that only Jesus is fit to make such judgments, and that any person making such judgments is sinning in so doing. Interestingly, however, this is what they say only after they are challenged. Beforehand, they say things such as in the meme above—that not even Jesus himself would say such things. Further, they have no explanation for the multitude of accounts of Jesus’ apostles saying quite similar things in judgment of people. Nor can they explain how Jesus himself taught his followers that they were supposed to be able to judge the difference between a sheep and a wolf, and a fig and a thistle?
Oh, and there’s one more thing: those who claim that “judging” others is a sin—do they not break their own rule the moment they accuse someone else of “judging”?
It’s just stupid, folks. The facts of Jesus’ behavior are a matter of record, and not of opinion. Ironically, the author of this meme is so utterly ignorant of scripture as to presume that if we get our Bibles out and “check up on that”, we’ll never find Jesus judging the “imperfections” of others.
Jesus’ real behavior apparently strikes the meme’s author as snobbish. And indeed, Jesus appears to have offended the sensibilities of a great number of people in his own generation. How fascinating that he is still doing it today, even amongst people who identify themselves as believers!