Friday, October 6, 2017

63 - Lumber and Jewels



Judge not, lest you be judged.


For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with what measure you measure, it will be measured back to you.


And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the plank in your own eye? 

Or how will you say to your brother, 'Permit me to remove the speck from your eye'; and look, there is a plank in your own eye? 

Hypocrite! First remove the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye. Mat 7:1-5


A Plank



Judge not, lest you be judged.  This is the Bible verse that seems to be most popular in our present day. But most (of) the people who quote this verse don’t understand what Jesus said. They seem to think Jesus commanded a universal acceptance of any lifestyle or teaching. Guzik   That this is not at all what Christ meant is made obvious by His words, by their fruits you shall know them.  How could we know them if we did not make a judgement of their lifestyle?  It may not be "politically correct" but it is right for us to say that certain ways of living are wrong.  We may condemn, or better still, we should condemn wrong lifestyles but not the person who is living them.


What Christ is saying is do not judge others as to their character.  Doing that is as if we are taking Jehovah's place in judgement.  That is not ours to do.

  
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged.  When we stand at the judgement bar of Jehovah and He sees that we were very harsh in condemning fellow humans He might just take the standard we set for others and use it for measuring how we lived our lives when He passes out judgement on us.


why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the plank (to be classified as a plank it must be at least 1.5 inches thick and 7.5 inches wide) in your own eye?  In making this statement Christ is again using a hyperbole. 



It is a universal trait that we set lower standards for ourselves than we do for others.  A modern example of this might sound like this.  You meet your friend and say, I saw you in the cafe last night and I noticed you drinking a bottle of beer.  What you don't say is that every Saturday evening you go to the bar and get so sloshed that you can't even find your way home.


how will you say to your brother, Permit me to remove the speck from your eye?  How can you, the habitual drinker, suggest to your friend, who had a bottle of beer, that he should seek professional help?

Hypocrite!  This word comes from the Greek "hupokritēs" which means an actor under an assumed character (stage player). Strong G5271.


Christ says, You hypocrite, First, remove the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.  Before you have any right to even notice what your friend is drinking you should spend some time in prayer, join the AAA, and overcome your own problem.


Pearls


Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.  Mat 7:6

Do not give what is holy to the dogs. the holy or sacred thing; i.e. any thing, especially, of the sacrificial kind, which had been consecrated to God. Clarke. Some Bible scholars say that the Jews would have understood Christ to mean, after the meat has been sacrificed as an offering to Jehovah don't give it to the dogs.


Some draw this parallel: The bread and the wine of the communion service are holy and non-Christians have no right to partake of them.  Of course, we do not think of non-Christians as dogs but to the Jews of Christ's time, that Christ was referring to the Gentiles, was perhaps the meaning that they got from His statement.  The Jews were in the habit of referring contemptuously to Gentiles as dogs—unclean animals with whom they would not associate if such association could be avoided. © Mark D. Nanos (www.marknanos.com)


There are different styles of poetry; in some poetry, it is not the last word of the first and second line or the first and third line, that must rhyme.  In some poetry, it might be the meaning (not the sound of the words) of the first and third lines that must be connected.  

These words of Christ are perhaps that kind of a poem.  Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.   

There are some versions of the Bible that do not allow for the following arrangement, but some do.

The members of this sentence should be transposed thus: -

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,
Lest they turn again and rend you:
Neither cast ye your pearls before swine,
Lest they trample them under their feet.
Clarke


Actually, if we stop to think about it, this arrangement makes sense.  Because dogs were thought of as unclean animals people would certainly not tame them or keep them as pets.  

Since they were wild there is a good chance that they would turn on a person and tear you in pieces.  In the East, dogs are wilder and more gregarious, and, feeding on carrion and garbage, are coarser and fiercer than the same animals in the West. Dogs and swine, besides being ceremonially unclean, were peculiarly repulsive to the Jews, and indeed to the ancients generally. Barnes

and turn again and rend youas dogs do. Religion is brought into contempt, and its professors (those who profess Christ) insulted, when it is forced upon those who cannot value it and will not have it. Barnes

The current day application of these words is that Christians should be discriminate about with whom they share the deeper doctrines of the Bible.  There is nothing that some crude people would rather do that smear Christians and the Bible's teachings in the mud in which they themselves feel so at home.  

neither cast ye your pearls before swinethe impure or coarse, who are incapable of appreciating the priceless jewels of Christianity. Barnes

lest they trample them under their feet—as swine do.

About this verse, John Wesly wrote: Yet even then, when the beam (plank) is cast out of thine own eye, ... talk not of the deep things of God to those whom you know to be wallowing in sin. Neither declare the great things God hath done for your soul to the profane, furious, persecuting wretches.