THE RELATIONAL STANCE OF A DISCIPLE
In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus makes a statement that is known to many in the world today, but follows it up with application is largely missed.
This morning we are going to look at the two characteristics on which a disciple’s relationships are based.
1A. OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE FORMED AS A SERVANT. 7:1-2
One of the great secrets about the Christian life in today’s world is the simple fact that we are a body of servants!
As a servant, then …
1B. DON’T MAKE YOURSELF THE STANDARD. 7:1
Matthew 7:1 (NKJV) 1 Judge not, that you be not judged.
It is not that a disciple never judges:
John 7:24 (NKJV) 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
But a disciple always remembers that he is going to answer to Jesus – the Master!
ILL – Prejudice based on illusion: At a Promise Keepers Conference in Detroit, African-American minister Raleigh Washington said:
When I was born, I was black. When I grew up, I was still black. When I go out in the cold, I’m still black. When I go out in the sun, I get more black. When I’m sick, I’m black, and when I die, I’m sure I’ll still be black.
But I found out that when white people are born, you’re pink. When you grow up, you become white. When you go out in the cold, you turn blue. And when you stay out in the sun, you turn red. When you’re sick, they say, “You look green,” and when you die, you turn purple. Now what I want to know is why do they call blacks “colored people?”
Brett Kays, Brownstown, Michigan
2B. REMEMBER WHO IS MASTER. 7:2
Matthew 7:2 (NKJV) 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
God is the master of poetic justice! Parallel passage:
Luke 6:37-38 (NKJV) 37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Does our judgment …
Romans 2:1-2 (NKJV) 1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.
1 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NKJV) 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.
(1A. OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE FORMED AS A SERVANT)
2A. OUR RELATIONSHIPS ARE DEDICATED TO RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7:3-5
1B. RIGHTEOUSNESS APPLIED TO SELF. 7:3-4
Matthew 7:3-4 (NKJV) 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?
We start with ourselves in terms of proper judgment!
1 Peter 4:17 (NKJV) 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
ILL – A man went to see his doctor in an acute state of anxiety. “Doctor,” he said, “you have to help me. I’m dying. Everywhere I touch it hurts. I touch my head and it hurts. I touch my leg and it hurts. I touch my stomach and it hurts. I touch my chest and it hurts. You have to help me, Doc, everything hurts.”
The doctor gave him a complete examination. “Mr. Smith,” he said, “I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is you are not dying. The bad news is you have a broken finger.”
David Holdaway, Kincardinshire, Scotland
2B. RIGHTEOUSNESS EXTENDED TO OTHERS. 7:5
Matthew 7:5 (NKJV) 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Quote: “Be not angry that you cannot make others as you want them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.”
—Thomas à Kempis
Galatians 6:1 (NKJV) 1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
When dealing with others …
The relational stance of a disciple is …
MAKE ME A SERVANT (2X)
YOU ARE SOVEREIGN OVER US