Here Comes the Judge is a 1968 song by legendary comedian Pigmeat Markham. It became one of comedy’s first memes when Sammy Davis Jr. made it a catchphrase on the TV show: Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In. The song, and Laugh In comedy sketch, became so huge – that 4 other versions of Here Come the Judge were released in the same year – all them making the charts. (The most famous by Shorty Long.) Here Comes the Judge – also inspired the Baskin-Robbins flavor: Here Comes the Fudge.
Yep, “here comes the judge” was a thing back in the late 60’s. It still IS a thing today. We want to be the judge of everyone in our little world of influence—admit it. We all think we have the best idea, the right way, the obvious solution to any given problem and assume we are the “judge” of character of all people we encounter on any given day. Jesus points out in this passage that “church people” are the worst.
Our first impressions of people are guided by what others did to us our past encounters and relationships. We judge quickly with presumptions and assumptions. Judging is our first response when someone enters the room. Our Jesus, the “You have heard it said, but I say…” Truth teller explains that there is only one Judge of another’s sin and we are not Him. Jesus reminds us we have enough on our plate to devour without dishing out judgement of what another person has on their plate. He actually uses the example of having a log in our eye, (which would blind us by the way), while we look for a speck of dust in another person’s eye. I’m certain this brought a chuckle of laughter that rippled through the crowd on that mountain of learning. Did He really say that? Yes, He did.
Jesus taught that the judgement we dish out will be dished out to us. How we treat others is how we will be treated statement drives the point home. Do you want a huge helping of judgement? Judge. If not, judge not.
However, we MUST judge ourselves—Digging deeper into this “judgy” thing (Help comes from Warren Wiersbe, Commentator)
Jesus is not only teaching the mountain congregants, but He is also admonishing the Pharisees and other religious teachers of their judgement of all people as well as Jesus, Our Lord! He teaches that people need to judge themselves first. We all need to look inside ourselves and judge if we are following Truth and not worldview thinking that is opposite Kingdom of God living.
Jesus did not forbid us to discern others who influence our thinking, for careful discrimination is essential in the believer’s life. Christian love is not blind (Phil. 1:9–10). The person who believes all that he hears and accepts everyone who claims to be spiritual will experience confusion and great spiritual loss. So, before we judge others, we must judge ourselves.
Points to ponder and realize…
- If we first judge ourselves, then we are preparing for that final judgment when we face God. The Pharisees “played God” as they condemned other people, but they never considered that God would one day judge them.
- The purpose of self-judgment is to prepare us to serve others. Christians are obligated to help each other grow in grace. When we do not judge ourselves, we not only hurt ourselves, but we also hurt those to whom we could minister. The Pharisees judged and criticized others to make themselves look good (Luke 18:9–14). But Christians should judge themselves so that they can help others look good. There is a difference!
- If we do not honestly face up to our own sins and confess them, we blind ourselves to ourselves, and then we cannot see clearly enough to help others.
- Jesus used the illustration of the eye to teach us how to have a spiritual outlook on life. We must not pass judgment on others’ motives. We should examine their actions and attitudes, but we cannot judge their motives—for only God can see their hearts.
- It is possible for a person to do a good work with a bad motive. It is also possible to fail in a task and yet be very sincerely motivated. When we stand before Christ at the judgment seat, He will examine the secrets of the heart and reward us accordingly (Rom. 2:16; Col. 3:22–25). The image of the eye teaches us another truth: We must exercise love and tenderness when we seek to help others (Eph. 4:15).
- Two extremes must be avoided in this matter of spiritual self-examination. The first is the deception of a shallow examination. Sometimes we are so sure of ourselves that we fail to examine our hearts honestly and thoroughly. A quick glance into the mirror of the Word will never reveal the true situation (James 1:22–25).
- “The second extreme is what I, (Warren Wiersbe), call a “perpetual autopsy.” Sometimes we get so wrapped up in self-examination that we become unbalanced. We should not look only at ourselves, or we will become discouraged and defeated. We should look by faith to Jesus Christ and let Him forgive and restore us. Satan is the accuser (Rev. 12:10), and he enjoys it when we accuse and condemn ourselves!”
Of pearls and pigs…
Wiersbe relates; “The reason for judgment, then, is not that we might condemn others, but that we might be able to minister to them. Notice that Jesus always dealt with individuals according to their needs and their spiritual condition. He did not have a memorized speech that He used with everybody. He discussed the new birth with Nicodemus, but He spoke of living water to the Samaritan woman. When the religious leaders tried to trap Him, He refused to answer their question (Matt. 21:23–27). It is a wise Christian who first assesses the condition of a person’s heart before sharing the precious pearls.”
HERE COMES THE JUDGE! Yes, Jesus is coming back to claim His own! Jesus, the One and Only, Our Perfect and Holy Savior and Lord, will come in the final judgement. (Read the end of The Book, it’s there!) Jesus, knows our hearts, is God’s Son, and is the only wise, discerning judge. He will judge with love, mercy and grace in more ways that we can possibly imagine. Believe and be saved.
“…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b, ESV
“I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.” 2 Timothy 4:1-2, MSG
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Matthew 7:1-6, NLT
Do Not Judge Others
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
6 “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.
Abba, Father in Heaven,
Wow, your words require deeper thinking, self-evaluation which includes an “eye exam”! Forgive me when I judge and make decisions based on first impressions and past experiences only. Help me to see people, all people, the way you see them. Keep me alert to The Liar’s distractions and destructive behaviors while being intently focused on you. You are Truth. I believe in You.
In Jesus Name, Amen