Category Archives: Our discussions from the Bible.

The Week That Divides Time in Two

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday and we discussed the week known as Holy Week, or Passion Week. A week that literally divides time into two. The significance of this week in history cannot be over emphasised.

Hebrews 1:1-4 describes the two ages of time, and Matthew 21 is the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem the week before he was crucified. Here is my illustration of the division of our age, plus four ways that Jesus made it clear on Palm Sunday that He is King!

holy-week-pic

“I Am The KING.”

1. By riding on a donkey.   Gentle.   Zechariah 9:8-9

We follow the King …By extending to others His defence, righteousness, salvation, gentleness.

2. By cleansing The Temple.  Jeremiah 7:9-15. Isaiah 56:7

Kingdom of God is a nation gathering Kingdom, not an exclusive cult.

We follow the King  …By gathering nations for worship and prayer.

3. By healing the blind and lame.  Isaiah 35:3-6

We follow the King … By encouraging (no fear), and healing the sick!

4. By attracting praise from children.  Psalm 8:2

The LORD our lord, the King will be praised by everything & everyone,
even children, silencing God’s enemies.

We follow the King …By speaking out our faith in the awesome God.

In this age, there is a gentleness about God’s offer of salvation and eternal life in Jesus Christ. When He returns or reappears at the end of the age, it will be too late to decide that He is King after all. Choosing now is good.

Revelation 19:11-16

The Golden Rule, It’s a Good & Beautiful Life.

Because it’s sooooo important, we decided to review the “Living Without Condemning Others” teaching, and summarise the main points.

What does “condemning” actually achieve?

  1. Creates a hostile culture. When Jesus says that we too will be judged, this is not saying we’ll be judged by God.  Condemnation from one person creates a culture of hostility and retaliation and judgement. He warns us – if you do it, it’ll be done to you. Don’t start!
  2. It prevents us from helping. The whole joke of having a log in your eye, is a humorous way of saying “when you condemn people in a so-called effort to help, you lose the ability to see or percieve things properly. We can’t help in that state.
  3. It doesn’t nourish or edify. Our “sacred” “pearls” are indigestible. People, no matter how bad one might think they are, cannot eat pearls! Jesus really was making his points in a strong and laughable way.

So what does Jesus teach for living without condemning others?

  1. Refuse to condemn. V.1,6.  He calls us to obey Him and resolve in our minds and hearts to live just and loving lives. “Do not judge…” for the reasons he states (above) – just DON’T.
  2. Ask, seek, knock. Vv 7-11.  The Christ-like response to those irritating or bad people? Pray for them, seek good for them, make genuine efforts to find out what the real problem is, and do good.
  3. The golden rule. V. 12 This is wonderfully simple and has equipped the world profoundly for two millenia! Just think first – How would I like to be treated?

This is a real and practical issue. We all struggle with judgement, and hurting others by passing unjust judgement and comment is natural but ugly. Jesus’ way is the way of love, empathy and humilty. And it takes real strength and guts. Christ in us makes living without condemning others possible.

It’s  good and beautiful life 🙂    What do you think?

Matt

 

Living Without Condemning Others – The Good & Beautiful Life.

What does it mean to “judge”?

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Matthew 7:1-2, (keep reading 5-6).

Once again, Jesus takes us on a journey of turning everyday challenges into life-giving moments. At church yesterday discussing this, we realised that this truth literally changes us forever!

There are at least two words for “judge” used in the Bible. In this case Jesus’ word is very negative, it means – “to decide, try, condemn, sentence.”

The other “judge” word that’s positive is “to make an objective, equitable, just & innocent assessment.” We live daily making innocent assessments. These are the ones that keep us healthy and our communities alive and well 🙂

In a way, Jesus is saying “Don’t judge wrongly, judge rightly.

What do you think the “plank in your own eye” refers to?

We understand it from the context to be “condemning judgment of others.” In other words Jesus is saying that to condemn other people in an effort to help them, correct them, or fix anything, is as ridiculous as offering to remove a speck, when you yourself have plank in your eye! Funny.

So how do we help each other? How do we live in a messed up world and help people?

v.5 Remove your judgmental attitude & approach, then you can help.
v.6 If you treat people like that, they’ll reject your “advice,” and possible attack you back.
v.12 “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Empathy, not condemnation, will allow us to help each other, and live Jesus’ good and beautiful life. 

Be encouraged,

Matt

P.S. We’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you think?