THE WEEK OF TRINITY IV – SATURDAY

LESSON: MATTHEW 7:1-5

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned.” Luke 6:37

Jesus is speaking here of uncharitable judging and condemnation, forming a good or bad opinion about something that cannot really be seen from the outside but is a judgement that only God can make. It can happen that you see your neighbor sinning on the one day, and God accepts him on the next day. You can also put on a very pious front and blot out all remembrance of your own sins.

Christ has forbidden judging, for there can be no love or unity where such judging and condemning is current among men. To judge or condemn another man is nothing else but having a log in one’s eye such as all hypocrites have in their eyes. Those who have the idea that their piety exceeds that of other men always find something wrong with their brethren. No matter what their brethren do, they find fault with it, but they cannot see their own sins.

If you see nothing but sin in others, without ever noticing the log in your own eye, you are falling under the judgement of God. You, who are so ready to judge and condemn another man, are a greater sinner before God than the worst scoundrel and the worst harlot, of whom God alone knows who is saved or condemned.

All sin that other men commit is as nothing when compared with the sin that you commit with your uncharitable judgement of others.

SL 11:1281 (26)

PRAYER: To you and to no one else, O God, belongs all judgment and condemnation. Keep us always aware of this basic fact whenever we are tempted to judge and condemn our neighbor in defiance of the love that we should always manifest to him, in and through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Editor’s note: No American Edition (AE) equivalent for today’s sermon excerpt exists at the time of this publication. For an alternate English translation of this sermon, see Lenker, Church Postil—Gospels, 4:97-110.