September 30, 2018

She walked out on stage.

Just a microphone in her hand.

The audience giggled and gasped at her.

The Guardian reported –She wore a gold lace dress-which made her look like a piece of pork sitting on a doily.

She was small, chubby with a squashed face.

Unruly teeth and unkempt hair.

Simon, first to speak…How old are you?

She said nearly 47.  To that he rolled his eyes.

The other male judge Piers just grimiest.

Amanda, the female judge raised her eyebrows-but kept neutral.

How do you want to be judged?

I’ll answer first, I want to be judged…

NOT!.

I don’t want to be judged at all, do you?   But, if you have to judge me, I want you to judge me mercifully.   Let me explain.  When you judge me I want you to take into account the family I was raised in.   I want you to take into account the way I’ve been treated by other people.   I want you to take into account all of my insecurities.  Those I have control over and those I don’t.   My struggles. My self-image.  My accent.   I want you to take into account my entire history.  My life -up to this point.  So when you judge me.   I don’t you to; but if you’re going to judge me I want you to be merciful.

No, we want to be- judged not.

Now how about you-How do you want to be judged?

We continue our series, “He Said What?!” Do Not Judge.

Now here’s a question to get our head around this scripture.  Why are we so   judgmental?  Why do we judge so harshly?

The Jews in Jesus time, were extremely judgmental.  We read it in all four gospels,

Matthew Mark Luke and John – what   they said and the way they treated people.

You could get a glimpse of why Jesus said, Do not judge.

This is the issue, we put a period there. Do Not Judge Period.  Do not criticize me, it’s none of your business.   Do not compare me, to anyone or anything or confront me about anything that I do. Because basically it’s none of your business.  Do Not Judge Period. That’s the issue, we put a period there. Except when Jesus said this there wasn’t a period there. It was a comma.

He said do not judge, or you too will be judged.  We miss what’s after the comma.

Jesus is saying……that if you judge it’s coming back on you.  He elaborates by saying, “For the same way you judge others, you will be judged and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

This literally means that your judgement will be judged and with what measure you use it -will be the same measure against you.

So here would be a great summary, so far.  Judge unto others as you would have others judge unto you.

This brings us back to our original   question.  When it comes to judgement if we are to judge others and you know it will be coming back on you.  How do you want to be judged?       Jesus continues, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye…….this is the part we like because this confirms what we thought.  We just knew it, knew he had something going on.  And Jesus see it too.

So Jesus you see this speck, so are you saying it’s O.K. to draw conclusions or have opinions about other people.

But then he goes on…..”Why do you look at  the speck of sawdust in your brother eye and pay no attention to the plank you your own eye?

Let me suggest two quick answers –  number 1, it’s more fun to look at the sawdust in your eye because it distracts me from the plank in my own.

In fact your issues, may make me feel better about me.   It distracts me from the fact that, I’ve got stuff going on as well.

So the reason that we notice what’s wrong with other people, rather than what’s wrong with us – is because it helps us feel better about us.

The 2nd answer…… Jesus, I didn’t notice I had a plank in my eye.

I see what’s wrong with you, I see the saw dust- that’s easy, that’s obvious to all of us.

But me….I’m not sure there’s anything really that wrong with me.

Then, Jesus clarifies the ‘NOT” in the judge not.  Jesus takes us right to the heart of the issue.

He ask the question, “How can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye when all the time there is a plank in your own eye.  Then he goes a step further, and punctuates these two words, that none of us want to hear.   You hypocrite.

Now if you want to know what a hypocrite is by Jesus definition –   it’s someone that is more fascinated by what’s wrong with someone else than,  they are with what’s wrong with themselves.   Someone that’s more interested and preoccupied with fixing other people than fixing themselves.   It’s people who see what’s wrong with everyone else but refuses to face up with what’s going on with them.

You may be saying at this point the moral of this passage is judge not and simply mind your own business. You deal with your stuff; they deal with their stuff and do not judge.  That’s the Lesson –  Mind your own business.

Lesson over – Lesson done – let pray and go lunch.

But Jesus doesn’t stop there-this where Jesus actually begins to teach the lesson.

Not only does do not judge have a comma.  When he gets to, you hypocrite, here we go again, there’s no period.  You hypocrite, first…..sounds as if Jesus is making a list to me. First.

First, you hypocrite, how dare you try to deal with what somebody else.   How dare you interfere with what’s going in another person’s life before you first look in the mirror and deal with what’s going on in your own life.

You hypocrite, first, take the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly.  In my words….  Figure out your own mess.  Recognize your mess.  Deal with it.  Work on it.

Now, if Jesus started a list- first take the plank out of your own eye- so my question is what is second.

So choir help me with this:

   “I can see clearly now the plank is gone.”

Now the second, following Jesus is all about taking the plank out of your own eye so you then will see clearly to help your brother/sister remove the speck their eye.

This is like the flight attendant reminding us – In case of a change in cabin pressure put the mask on you first and then you can help others around you.

Jesus teaches from beginning to the end……. love one another the way that I have loved you.

As a follower of Jesus, a Christian (a little Christ).  It never stops with what’s in it for me.  As a follower of Christ, we share God’s love because he first loved us.  It’s about sharing what God has done in me and for me for the sake of others.

You see there is a problem with me minding my own business – that it does nothing for the person whose business needs minding.

Jesus spins the whole thing around.

Everything we thought he was going to say  about do not judge, or you have no right to judge me.  Jesus turns it inside out.

Jesus commands us to address our stuff but not for our sake.   Jesus commands us to address our issues to prepare us to love other people through their issues.  Love other people through their issues.

He commands us to take the plank out of our own eye not simply so that we won’t have a plank in our eye but so that we can see clearly to address the sawdust in the eyes of our brothers and sisters.

It takes us right back to that command that Jesus gave His disciples.  Love one another.

Love forbids me walk away.   Love forbids me from simply minding my own business, when I know that perhaps your business needs minding -not judgmentally way but in love.

Yes, she walked out on stage with a microphone in hand.  Unruly hair, giggles in the crowd.

Then she begin to sing. (Video SUSAN BOYLE)

In the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit.