A better understanding of “Do not judge” must look back to to Jesus in Mathew 7:1-6 and Luke 6: 37-40. This means that this assertion is neither yours, nor your biological father’s, nor your church father’s and mother’s, etc.

“Do not judge” does not free us from the need for judgement, otherwise we all end up becoming hypocrites. Yes, every simple sentence like “This kettle is black” is a judgement and as adults, we can’t escape the obligation to make some judgements even on the moral character of others.

Considering that a better understanding of any scriptural passage as guide to our lives, must refer to other scriptures because the scripture must be read as whole, not selectively and nor independently, for all scriptures are inspired by God (2 Tim 16–17), John 8:3-11 practically explains what Jesus meant so well.

What happened?

The scribes and pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery and they already condemned the woman to death and now wanted Jesus to follow suit as a way to tempt him, but with one statement, Jesus explains and tecahes everything, “Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).

With that, none could even raise a voice, let alone a stone, but all vanished beginning from the eldest. Then Jesus made the decisive statement that would direct the actions and decisions of all who must follow him sincerely:

“Has no one condemned you?” said Jesus. The woman replied,  ‘No one, sir,” ‘NEITHER DO I CONDEMN YOU,’ SAID JESUS. ‘GO AWAY, AND FROM THIS MOMENT SIN NO MORE” (John 8:10).

But, I do not know how many of us follow this teaching correctly or are we following our own teachings?

The same Jesus who said, “DO NOT JUDGE” was the same person who said “…SIN NO MORE.” Remember, the pharisees and scribes only said that the woman was caught in adultery and therefore must be stoned according to the law (that means it’s a sin and a crime), but Jesus definitely called her action only “sinful.” Is that not a judgement? Like “…your actions are sinful but sin more, just as the kettle is black, but make it black no more.”

Beware that Jesus didn’t excuse her action as “not-sinful” but gave her opportunity for change and repentance, “Neither do I condemn you, go…sin no more.”

However, that was not the only judgement, Jesus’ saying “Let the one among you who is guiltless be the first to throw a stone at her” is tacitly a judgement too. It’s like saying, “all of you are sinful too.”

So, what does Jesus actually mean then by “Do not judge?”

Jesus’ TEACHING WARNS AGAINST USURPING THE DEFINITIVE JUDGEMENT OF GOD, who alone sees the heart, and that EVERY OF OUR JUDGEMENT MUST GIVE ROOM FOR REPENTANCE and not to throw/scare people away from repentance and from God, because if otherwise, we should remember that we too are imperfect like the scribes and pharisees. This is why Jesus had to conclude with “Hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye” (Matt 7:5). Thus, we should be not be too fast in making judgement upon others.

Therefore, parents, fiancés, employers, civil judges, church administrators, friends, relatives, church warders or urhers, etc are bound to make judgement at necessary situations bearing in mind the intention of Jesus. Failure to make such, is a judgement itself.

Stop taking the Bible literally, It is not your mate but God’s word from ages past, but always valid. Try to read and understand.

Anglican Bishop, Right Revd Richard Pain to be received in the (Catholic Church) Personal Ordinate of Our Lady of Walsingham

An Anglican priest, Bishop who converts to Catholicism becomes a Catholic lay faithful? Yes.

Fr. Henry Charles Umelechi

Truth Series

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